“World Book Day” (March 4th, 2022) is a global festival of reading
and a celebration of the importance of books. Publications come in all shapes and sizes and, as with education, reading is a right for all children and should be enjoyed by all.
Across the world, ‘World Book Day’ will acknowledge the importance of books to empower people to read and better understand the world around them. The main objective of the festival is to encourage reading from a young age, instill a love of books in children and make reading a lifelong habit.
World Book Day was originally created by UNESCO on 23rd April 1995 as a worldwide celebration of books and reading. Normally over one hundred countries partake; some countries have chosen March 4th to be their World Book Day. Regardless of which day the festival is celebrated, each day of reading should be celebrated and all books should be treasured.
Different countries and schools will mark the day in a variety of ways and a lot of children like to dress up as their favourite book characters!
For ideas on how to celebrate World Book Day, please go here:
- Costumes For World Book Day:
- 14 Fun World Book Day Costumes for Teachers
- 5 Easy World Book Day Costume Ideas | Hobbycraft
- Reading Activities for Different Ages:
- 50 EASY WORLD BOOK DAY IDEAS FOR SCHOOLS
Different people love reading a diverse selection of books as everyone has unique tastes! People enjoy consuming different kinds of publications, both fiction and nonfiction, as reading can inform, expand knowledge and transport readers to different worlds.
Some ESF Language Staff were happy to share memories of their favourite books from their childhood which inspired them! Some spent the time recommending books which they believe children and parents will also enjoy!
One Language Team Teacher, Cristal Mills, was happy to share what her favourite childhood book was:
“My favourite childhood book is "The Jolly Postman". I loved reading all the funny letters that were in the book addressed to other well-known book characters. It was such a fun and lighthearted book to read.”
Ms Mills also was delighted to share books that she would happily recommend for children:
“Books that I love recommending to children are anything by Julia Donaldson and also ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea!’ All such classics!”
Laroy Hoard, Head of ESF Sports and Language, selected Julia Donaldson and Vashti Harrison, as his favourite children’s book writers.
“Two of my favourite children's book authors are Julia Donaldson and Vashti Harrison. I love that Julia can engage young readers with a great rhyme scheme and fun stories like ‘The Gruffalo’, ‘Room on the Broom’, and ‘The Highway Rat’; while Vashti uses her incredible talents to bring stories of underrepresented people to readers around the world.”
Emma Dorrell, Director of ESF Language & Learning, fondly remembers the universally popular, “Mr Men” Books.
“I remember enjoying the ‘Mr Men’ books by Roger Hargreaves when I was young, especially ‘Mr Tickle’. I used to find his long arms very funny and I remember my parents tickling me as they read the story to me!”
She then went on to elaborate on some of the books that she enjoys with her family.
“At home, we have so many books we love. Our favourite authors are Mo Willems as we love the pigeon books. These are great picture books and now my 6 year old is a more independent reader, he loves reading them to his younger sister and adding in lots of funny expressions.
“We have a challenge to get lots of Julia Donaldsen books - our favourites are ‘StickMan’ and ‘The Highway Rat’ and the kids even have pyjamas of the story characters!”
Finally, ‘Dogma’n by Dav Pilkey is also becoming a favourite at home for the silly storylines and colourful pictures.”
Fiona Hughes, Wanchai Centre Manager, selected a few classics as her book choices.
"My favourite childhood book was “Guess How Much I Love You” and I always remember my dad swinging me up in the air after reading it. The books I’d recommend are: “I Love the Invisible String” by Patrica Karst, it’s a beautiful story of always being connected."
"Anything and everything by Julia Donaldson. “Theres a Monster in your Book” by Tom Fletcher is fun too."
Ms Neetu Sharma recommended the following books:
“My favourite childhood book was "Panchantra". It is an ancient Indian collection of moral stories like these below:”
- "The Lion and the Mouse"
- "The Talkative Turtle"
- "The Lion and the Hare" and many more.
I used to read this book again and again as it taught me many life lessons!
The text's author is unknown but it has been attributed to Vishnu Sharma.
And my recommendations for the younger kids are:
- “The Dot”
- “Press Here”
- “Mix It Up”
And for the older kids, I would recommend these books:
- “Tom Gates Series”
- “Horrid Henry Series”
- “Captain Underpants Series”
Ms Ivy Wong picked a literature classic as her most treasured childhood book.
“My favourite memory reading as a child - Reading ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ - was sensory overload. The description of the smell and feeling of the coats in the wardrobe, the snow beneath Lucy’s feet, and the Turkish delight that Edmund loved to eat. A sensory delight!”
Ms Ania Gradkowska said her most beloved books as a child were books that were relatable to her own childhood memories of growing up in a small village.
"The Six Bullerby Children" by Astrid Lindgren must be the first book I read on my own. It is an adventure-packed book where I followed the stories of six children from a tiny, remote village of Bullerbyn in Sweden. Back then, living in a small village with all of my cousins, the stories were highly relatable to me and inspired many of my own childhood adventures!”
Ms Ania’s love of reading meant, when she was young, she spent a lot of time browsing her school's library and receiving tips from the helpful librarian.
“This particular book sparked my great interest in reading, making me a frequent visitor at the school library. When I was looking for my next read, the very kind librarian there pointed me to a pocket-sized book with a gentle-looking troll on the cover. This is how I discovered the Moomins and fell in love with their magical world and their philosophical nature which inspires me to this day.”
Here are a few timeless quotes from the Moomins books:
On Life in General…
“The world is full of great and wonderful things for those who are ready for them.” – Moominpappa (Moominpappa at Sea)
On Embracing Change…
“Isn’t life exciting! Everything can change all of a sudden, and for no reason at all!” – Moomintroll (Moominpappa At Sea)
“All things are so very uncertain, and that's exactly what makes me feel reassured.” – Too-Ticky (Moominland Midwinter)
On Life Plans….
“I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes and dream!” – Moomintroll (Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip - Book One)
The Moomin series I read in Polish as a child:
Here are some more books recommendations via the Literacy Trust in the United Kingdom:
World Book Day Recommendations:
How Many Books Are There in the World?
Exactly How many books are there in the world? According to a study by Google in 2010, there were 129,864,880 books in the world at that moment in time!
The Evolution of Books Through History
Books have been part of society and culture for centuries and people have always sought to express themselves through writing and art.
People’s need to share their thoughts and ideas has made simple forms of communication on paper slowly evolve into the invention of the printing press to the evolution of books to the digital formats that we can now enjoy at the touch of a button.
Paper itself was invented around 2,000 years ago in China by Ts'ai Lun, a Chinese court official. The earliest forms of “Paper” were crafting cloth sheets created by T’sai.
In all likelihood, Ts'ai mixed mulberry bark, hemp and rags with water and then let it set and dry before anything was written on it. The oldest surviving written record is dated to around 105 A.D and this is attributed to a direct report to Eastern Han Emperor Ho-di, dated to 105 A.D.
The earliest known instance of papermaking in Korea is from the 6th century.
In Korea, paper is known as ‘Hanji 'and refers to handmade Korean paper which is still ubiquitously used today.
The traditional process which has been passed down the centuries has seen this form of paper being created by using dak, the bark of Paper Mulberry trees, and dak pul, sap from the aibika plant.
Paper spread to the Middle East in 751 AD, as the Ottoman Turks defeated the T’angm Chinese army at the Battle of the Talas River and prisoners shared how paper was made. The Ancient Egyptian has their own form of books and paper known as Papyrus, a plant that is native to the Nile region.
The first ever ‘Book’, The Tale of Genji , was written by Murasaki Shikibu over a thousand years ago in the 11th century.
Books have constantly evolved since the printing press was first invented in the 1430s. This groundbreaking invention created by Johannes Gutenberg changed society forever as education and hence ‘Literacy’ was now more accessible to all; one century after the printing press was invented, the first English Dictionary was created by Richard Mulcaster in 1582.
America’s first book was the “Bay Psalm” Book. In its first initial run, there were around 1,700 copies printed. At present, there are 12 known surviving copies of the Bay Psalm Book with a copy located at Harvard University.
Fast forward a few centuries and books are ubiquitous in some nations and visits to a bookstore or libraries are treasured experiences.
Books clubs are now popping up everywhere as people love to talk about different forms of literature and genres.
For the tech-savvy, books are literally on their fingertips if they own Kindles or E-Readers though some people still prefer the look and feel of normal hard and soft cover books. Incredibly, print books still outsell E-Books by 4 to 1 and yet, in 2020, a staggering 191 million e-books were sold in the United States.
Why Are Books Good for Both Children and Adults?
Reading books helps children develop their language skills, vocabulary, imaginations, and critical thinking skills. Kids who read are set up for more success in school and throughout their adult lives.
Reading and books themselves bring many positives and these include the following:
Improved Vocabulary: Keen readers will build up their vocabulary bank and this in turn will help with writing skills. Research shows that young readers can learn up to 4,000 to 12,000 words per year through the simple act of reading.
Improve Concentration: Reading can help someone’s focus as books can be so absorbing, that people will have to concentrate to understand the real gist of the information and stories unfolding in front of them. If children build the habit of reading for twenty minutes per day then they would have read up to 1,800,000 words per year which is a staggering amount.
A Link to Intelligence: Reading a diverse variety of books on a wide range of subjects will widen a person’s perspective on all subject matters. If parents / guardians read one book to a child a day until they are five then the child would have read / listened to up to 1825 books.
Books Are Good For Your Health: Reading can reduce anxiety and stress and helps people recall facts and hence is positive for a person’s memory.
A Sense of Community: Book lovers can share ideas on books on forums and form their own books clubs! This is where people can come together to share their own views and perspectives on different topics and ideas and exchange different opinions on a book or piece of literature they all find engrossing and love.
Happy World Book Day 2022!
Why not pick up a treasured book and revisit it or simply share your love of reading to others and help build a healthy and educational lifelong habit!