Thursday the 5th March was the 23rd World Book Day. The first one was way back in 1995 with the aim to promote reading for fun to children and adults! Their message is the same today – – that reading is fun, relevant, accessible, exciting, and has the power to transform lives!
It has been found that children who take part in World Book Day activities are more engaged in reading and books than those who don’t; with nearly 60% saying they read more books and nearly half saying they bought more books after taking part in World Book Day!
Evidence shows that children who read for fun every day perform better in reading tests than those who don’t. In fact, reading for fun is more likely to be a deciding factor in whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background!
The role of a parent and reading!
Parents are the most important people in a child’s life! Even before they’re born, babies learn to recognise their parents’ voices. Reading to your baby from birth gives them the comfort of hearing your voice and above all increases their exposure to language.
Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out what’s printed on the page. Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words which helps them build their own vocabulary!
As children start to learn to read at school, find out what interests them, help them to find books that will be engaging as well as fun and spend time reading the books they bring home from school together.
Things you can do with your children to help promote that reading is fun!
Read aloud to your children.
Discuss the words on the pages, talk in detail about the images, share your ideas and opinions on the book!
Pick up a book.
Children who see adults reading for fun are more likely to pick up a book themselves!
Surround your children with books.
We don’t mean you need hundreds of books at home. But visit libraries, spend time looking around book shops, or ask us if you can borrow a book weekly! Make reading a habit rather than a chore
Spend time with your children doing simple activities. Talk to them about what you are doing. Children are like sponges, they love soaking up information. They may not fully understand but the words you speak to them will help them to learn! Later, when they see words written down, they’ve already heard them and know what they mean.
World Book Day is all about getting children closer to the books and authors they already love, as well as letting them discover more books and authors they’ll love every bit as much in the future. A book can stay with you for a lifetime. It can help you through difficult times, or conjure up happy memories when reading again.
This is why we asked some of our staff their favorite childhood books! Find out what they said below, how many of these have you read or do you remember?
One of my favorite stories was Ramona the Pest by Beverley Cleary. It was about a little girl in America who started Kindergarten. On her very first day, the teacher told her to ‘go and sit down for the present’ and for the whole day Ramona thought she was the teacher’s favorite as she had promised her a gift! It has always stuck in my mind how easy it is for children to take the things we say to them quite literally and I have always remembered that throughout my work with children. – Jo
‘When I was young I used to love The Enchanted Wood books by Enid Blyton. These books were about children Fanny, Jo, and Bessie. They moved to a cottage beside some woods. As they explore they discover the woods are magical with fairytale creatures in it. Moon face and Silky the fairy were my favorite. The woods contain a magical tree. It has grown so tall the top takes you to Far Away places where the children have adventures. – Teri
As a younger child, I loved the Winnie the Pooh books. My parents read these to me at bedtime. I also remember them being read on Jackanory by Willie Rushton. The stories remind me of a time when I felt really safe.
My favorite book as a child about age 11 was The Shadow Guests by Joan Aiken. It was the very first ghost book I ever read. The boy, Cosmo, has had to go through a lot of changes in his life, including bereavement. And the ghosts help Cosmo to understand what is happening. This story stuck with me throughout my teenage years. I also recently I found it in a charity shop and it is now back on my bookshelf. – Sam
When I was young I used to love Billy blue hat, Jennifer yellow hat and Roger red hat. – Hayley
Another vote for Winnie the Pooh stories here!! – Beckie
As a child, my favorite book was Spot the dog – Stacey
My all-time favorite book – Dr. Seuss – Green Eggs and Ham. My dad read me this book every night, I absolutely loved it because it was full of nonsense and was so funny. – Lauren
My favorite book as a child was – The Teddy Robinson Storybook. By Joan G Robinson. A collection of stories and much-loved books as a child, about teddy Robinson who is ‘ A friendly, free-and-easy bear, A cosy, jolly, teasy bear who is always welcome everywhere. Fair and furry, fat and free, That’s the kind of bear to be. Like Me!’ He belongs to a little girl Deborah and they have many adventures together. I was especially fascinated by the banana jelly in the birthday party story. – Jo
I had so many favourites as a child. I remember my mum reading to me a lot. She always used different voices and expression when ever she read to me, it really made the books come alive. My favourite was ‘we’re going on a bear hunt’ I still have my original copy and have read it to my own children. I also loved the large family books, old bear stories and pippo and Tom. – Bekki
Janet and John books.These are the first books I remember as it was how I was taught to read. They were first published in 1949 (although I didn’t read first editions you understand!) and was a series of 7 books following the adventures of the brother and sister Janet and John and their daily life using simple repetitive sentences. – Jenny
Sally – Operations Manager
The first book I can remember reading was The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I have memories of reading in the garden, being transported to fairy tale places and meeting fairy folk such as moonface, silky and saucepan. I still have a close relationship with fairy folk with Fairy Snowdrop living in my garden!!!
My fondest memories are of curling up on the sofa with my father while he read of the adventures of Winnie the Pooh by A A Milne and Beatrix Potter characters such as Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck and Tom Kitten These are still family favorites and I have shared them with my own children and now my Granddaughter.
Need more help?
We hope that this helps you to encourage your child to love reading. If you have any questions, please ask us. From which books you should be reading to how you can encourage your child to be more interested in books; we are here to help you!
On a final note – this quote from Jo Oliver-Clark says it all –
‘Books really do fuel the imagination and the more we read the more that imagination grows.’