The 20th annual World Book Day takes place on March 2, 2017 (Photograph: WBD)
The 20th annual World Book Day takes place on March 2, 2017 (Photograph: WBD)

It’s World Book Day, when children all over the world celebrate books and reading, and it’s no different in Birmingham and the West Midlands, as schools encourage pupils and students to dress up as their favourite storybook characters to mark the annual special day.

Not sure what to do? Don’t worry. Here’s more about World Book Day and how to take part!

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What is World Book Day?

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World Book Day is an opportunity for young people to celebrate reading and embracing stories and imaginative characters (Photograph: WBD)
World Book Day is an opportunity for young people to celebrate reading and embracing stories and imaginative characters (Photograph: WBD)

World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

This is the 20th year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 2nd March 2017 children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. Very loudly and very happily.

The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland 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.

'Do Something Booky' on World Book Day 2017 (Photograph: WBD)
‘Do Something Booky’ on World Book Day 2017 (Photograph: WBD)
What happens on World Book Day?
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World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading (Photograph: WBD)
World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading (Photograph: WBD)

Thanks to the generosity of National Book Tokens Ltd, publishers and booksellers, National Book Day organisers can send millions of book vouchers to children and young people (some 15 million, in fact: that’s one for nearly every child aged under eighteen in the country).

Then they can take their voucher to a local bookseller and can use it to pick one of ten exclusive, new and completely free books. Or, if they’d rather, they can use it to get £1 off any book or audio book costing over £2.99 at a participating bookshop or book club.

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Dress up as your favourite storybook character
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Looking for costume ideas for World Book Day so you can bring your favourite book characters to life and fundraise at the same time!

Why not dress up as The Cat in the Hat for World Book Day? (Photograph: WBD)
Why not dress up as The Cat in the Hat for World Book Day? (Photograph: WBD)

Charity Book Aid International have made one of your favourite World Book Day activities even easier for you, with their budget-beating ideas to make full costumes or simple props for loads of amazing characters – all from inexpensive items or things you already have at home.

Here's a great idea for a Dennis the Menace dress-up outfit (Photograph: WBD)
Here’s a great idea for a Dennis the Menace dress-up outfit (Photograph: WBD)

Donate £1 to dress up and you can help change lives at the same time. See the full range of step-by-step character idea sheets and videos and find out more here.

For templates and resources to help you create fun costumes – including Dennis the Menace, Gangsta Granny, Horrid Henry, The Cat in the Hat and more – click here.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1G2mjADpzI]

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How else can you get involved?
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Pupils and students can get national book tokens to get discounts on reading resources across the country (Photograph: WBD)
Pupils and students can get national book tokens to get discounts on reading resources across the country (Photograph: WBD)

It’s all about getting kids closer to the books and authors they already love, and letting them discover more books and authors they’ll love every bit as much in the future.

There are downloadable resource packs on the official World Book Day website, which is full of exciting and fun resources based on favourite books, brands, characters and authors.

To find out more about World Book Day in the UK, visit: www.worldbookday.com

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World Book Day 2017 celebrates 20 years of the annual event (Image: WBD)
World Book Day 2017 celebrates 20 years of the annual event (Image: WBD)

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Staff ReporterEventsNews20 years,2017,20th anniversary,Birmingham,Books,Booky,Characters,Cosplay,Dress Up,England,National Book Tokens,Reading,Stories,UK,WBD,West Midlands,World Book DayIt's World Book Day, when children all over the world celebrate books and reading, and it's no different in Birmingham and the West Midlands, as schools encourage pupils and students to dress up as their favourite storybook characters to mark the annual special day. Not sure what to do? Don't...The latest news, updates and events in Birmingham