Prime Minister Boris Johnson took time out to celebrate World Book Day at 10 Downing Street with Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell and children from Charles Dickens Primary School in Southwark.
At the event, helping to "Share a Million Stories" and celebrate reading for pleasure, Cowell chatted with the children aged seven to eight about the power of imagination and reading, as well as the inspiration behind her best-known characters.
Meanwhile the PM sat with the children and joined in as Cowell led a "draw-along" of Hiccup, the main character in her bestselling How to Train Your Dragon series.
Johnson said: "It was a pleasure to join Cressida Cowell and pupils from Charles Dickens Primary School in Downing Street, and see them bring to life characters from their favourite books.
"I encourage everyone to share a story with their family and friends to mark World Book Day."
Cassie Chadderton, c.e.o. of World Book Day said: "It was great to see Prime Minister Boris Johnson take part in this event and to hear his support for ‘Share A Million Stories’. Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success. As shared reading, for just 10 minutes a day, can have a long-lasting impact Share a Million Stories is at the heart of World Book Day's work to change children’s lives by making reading for pleasure the habit of a lifetime."
Stephen Lotinga, c.e.o. of the Publishers Association and chair of World Book Day, said: "We are delighted that World Book Day’s message has received support from the highest level of government.
"World Book Day aims to get children and adults excited about reading and the children at the event were ecstatic to get to read and draw with Cressida Cowell and the Prime Minister. The Publishers Association, our members and World Book Day’s partners want to encourage all parents, carers and children to share a story."
World Book Day reaches over 15 million children and young people with £1 book tokens distributed to over 45,000 educational establishments in the UK and Ireland.
This year, World Book Day has been calling on the nation to "Share a Million Stories"–in schools, libraries, bookshops, at home, "everywhere and anywhere"–throughout World Book Day Month (27th February–29th March).