World Book Day campaigns from Blackwell's and others

World Book Day campaigns from Blackwell's and others

More initiatives to mark World Book Day (WBD) have been announced ahead of the 20th anniversary event on 2nd March.

Blackwell’s booksellers are joining authors such as Lauren Child and Cressida Cowell to choose their childhood favourite reads as part of a World Book Day (WBD) promotion run by the retailer. The company is offering "three for two" in shops and online from 27th February in time for WBD on 2nd March on around 50 titles ranging from classics such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Penguin Random House’s Frederick Warne & Co) to more modern titles such as The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ (Penguin) and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Picador). Dahl features the most with four books making an appearance: Revolting Rhymes, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, Fantastic Mr Fox and Matilda (Puffin). Blackwell’s is encouraging people to join the social media by discussing their favourite childhood books using the hashtag #ChildhoodFavourites on WBD.

The retailer will share video clips of the booksellers from around the country making their case for their chosen titles, as part of the social media campaign run-up to WBD. Authors such as Lauren Child, Cressida Cowell, Alex T Smith and David Melling are also choosing their favourite books for the promotion. The company’s sales and marketing director Dean Drew said: “As we celebrate World Book Day, it is a perfect opportunity for our expert booksellers to share the books that inspired them as a child with the next generation of readers. We are passionate about the importance of children reading from a young age and how this can dramatically improve their educational outcomes. A great book fires the imagination of children and creates lifelong lovers of reading.”

Meanwhile social media campaign "We Read Because" aims to raise awareness of the many benefits of reading on children’s development with a special focus on parents from BAME backgrounds. Set up by authors Tola Okogwu and Oyehmi Beghot for World Book Day, it involves a campaign through which people can discuss why they enjoy books using the hashtag #WeReadBecause. Okogwu wrote Daddy Do My Hair (Florence Elizabeth Publishing) to consider race and gender roles within parenting and Begho’s series, The Adventures of Obi and Titi (Evolution Media Lab), explores the lack of diversity amongst children’s characters in the media. The authors have developed materials including a toolkit to empower families to share their love of reading on social media. 

As reported by The Bookseller earlier this month, fellow retailer Waterstones stores will be decked out with special display units and point-of-sale material, and its booksellers will create shop displays and organise in-store events. Many indie bookshops are also joining in with Nicola Lee from Huddersfield’s Children’s Bookshop visiting local primaries as Pippi Longstocking, and staffing a stand at Huddersfield Literature Festival’s family day.

A range of retailers have created special designs to ensure kids can dress up on the day itself, as reported by Getreading.co.uk, including a Where’s Wally outfit from Littlewoods as well as a Fantastic Mr Fox costume complete with a jacket, tail, yellow waitstcoat, cravat and fox mask. Sainsbury’s has a Horrid Henry outfit.

The Bookseller recently revealed how Book Aid International has teamed up with 20 literary stars to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event with the charity releasing a different reason why children’s books are important over 20 days. For more information, visit www.bookaid.org/latest or @book_aid on Twitter.