World Book Day will be child

<p>Children&rsquo;s booksellers are confident that World Book Day will drive footfall and sales, despite the uncertain economic outlook. Independent booksellers and chains have planned a series of events that will launch next week in the run-up to WBD on Thursday 5th March.</p><p>Waterstone&rsquo;s said it has arranged &ldquo;hundreds&rdquo; of WBD events at its branches, including fancy dress parties, story times, book stalls in schools and author visits. The following weekend will also see celebrations to mark The Gruffalo&rsquo;s 10th anniversary.</p><p>Key WBD events begin next week and will include a talk by WBD authors Matt &amp; Dave and Andy Stanton to children from local schools in the Guardian News &amp; Media Education Centre in London. In Sefton, Liverpool, Pritchards bookshop has arranged for children to meet WBD authors Mark Walden and Joseph Delaney.</p><p>Independents point to increased demand from schools for events around WBD. The Golden Treasury in Wandsworth, south London, will be visited by schools on WBD and has an after-hours treasure hunt planned for the general public. Assistant manager Anna Zammit said the bookseller would be trying to encourage people to buy books other than &pound;1 WBD titles. She said: &ldquo;That&rsquo;s the way we make the sums work for us.&rdquo; Booksellers pay 10p per WBD &pound;1 book and cover the &pound;1 voucher if it is put towards a different book.</p><p>Lesley Agnew, manager of The Children&rsquo;s Bookshop in Muswell Hill, north London, hoped that WBD will extend beyond the initial day. Agnew said: &ldquo;We would like to see school sales continue throughout March. We have a big number of school book fairs coming up; it&rsquo;s busier than during Children&rsquo;s Book Week in October.&rdquo;</p><p>Sponsored read initiative Readathon has also seen an increase in schools holding reading events around WBD. Director Brough Girling said: &ldquo;Schools are keen to do events around WBD and that has really helped us to develop our events.&rdquo; This is the 25th year of Readathon, which has raised some &pound;21m for charity in total.</p><p>This year&rsquo;s &pound;1 WBD books included two &shy;stories in one volume for the first time and the &ldquo;flip&rdquo; books have had a mixed reception from the trade. Sarah Clarke, children&rsquo;s buyer for Waterstone&rsquo;s, is positive. She said: &ldquo;We think the flip-over titles are a great idea&mdash;better value than ever and they have double the chance of helping a child discover a new author. It&rsquo;s a shame there is only one picture book, but it is fantastic it&rsquo;s by Julia Donaldson.&rdquo; <br /></p>