So today was World Book Day. You may have noticed the supermarkets being full of childrens costumes this week in preparation for today. Harry Potter gowns, Mary Poppins dresses and the Gruffalo all seem popular choices this year. As this is the first year my girls have been involved in the tradition, it got me thinking.. Where does World Book Day come from?
Well it started 21 years ago and it’s aim is to ‘encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.’*
When World Book Day began back on 23rd April 1995, I would think it was more about the actual books whereby now that it has a commercial appeal, the costumes are just as important but at least it still highlights the joys of reading. World Book Day is the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (aka UNESCO) and is marked in over 100 countries all over the world. It is run by a very small team and supported by volunteers, all of whom are dedicated to getting books into children’s hands.
I guess when I was young, picking up a book was taken for granted because there were no devices, minimal technology and Microsoft Powerpoint was on the curriculum for Computer Science class. (Anyone born in the 1980’s will surely relate!). I understand the idea behind celebrating books and reading and I for one support it because as technology grows further than we can imagine, it will only continue to evolve and without celebrations such as World Book Day you could be inclined to think the tradition of reading a paper or hardback book will become ‘a thing of the past’. Much like listening to a walkman and cassette with the need to replace batteries, having to be at home to watch your favourite show because record or catch up wasn’t ‘a thing’ and having to schedule a time to meet your mates in town and not be late because if you missed the meet time, they left without you. Oh how did we ever survive without the internet eh?!
Anyway, to ensure my girls appreciate books in their original form, we go to the library on a regular basis and they’re able to take out books each time. I think it’s important to learn to read from books but there is a place for devices too, it’s about balance. I love nothing more than tucking the girls into bed and reading them a bedtime story and as much as I love technology and the internet, I can’t ever see a day when I whip out my ipad or mobile phone for their snuggly bedtime reading….
So what do you think of World Book Day? Do you mark the occasion, does your child’s school celebrate it and what is your view on the costume side of things?
I’d love to hear your views so feel free to leave a comment below.
*taken from the official website, you can discover more here – http://www.worldbookday.com/