Happy World Book Day!
Thursday 1 March is World Book Day - a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading, marked in over 100 countries all over the world.
All kinds of book-related events and activities will be taking place across the UK, from Where's Wally 'flash mobs' to author talks and fancy dress competitions. Schools have already received book tokens to distribute to over 14 million children and young people, who can take their voucher to their local bookseller and exchange it for one of eight special World Book Day titles, including books by Jacqueline Wilson and Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson. For the first time this year, it is also possible to download a free World Book Day app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, including six short stories written especially for World Book Day by some leading young adult authors such as Neil Gaiman and Charlie Higson.
Schools have received special World Book Day resource packs to help them plan their own celebrations for World Book Day - and events will also be taking place in libraries, bookshops, nurseries and a variety of other venues. Some of the biggest names in children's publishing will be appearing at 'The Biggest Book Show on Earth' at the Southbank Centre in London this morning, and later in the day, the Apple Store Covent Garden will play host to teen and young adult authors including Charlie Higson and Malorie Blackman. Watch a live stream of these events online or check out the World Book Day website for more details of events happening in your area.
Julia Donaldson has also teamed up with How to Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell to help World Book Day find the country's best storyteller in their Storytelling Superstar competition.
So how will you be celebrating World Book Day this year? Here are a few ideas:
- Enjoy a great book. Take a look at our suggestions of some fantastic books to share and enjoy for children of all ages. Cuddle up together and share some of our favourite picture books for nursery age children; be inspired by Storytelling Superstar and read a great book aloud; or check out our suggestions for books that are guaranteed to get older children and teenagers talking.
- Pledge to share 20 books this year. What better day to join authors, illustrators and celebrities who are celebrating 20 years of Bookstart this year by pledging to share 20 books with children? Find out more and make your pledge.
- Discover some award-winning books. Tune into Blue Peter tonight at 5.45pm to find out who are the winners of this year's Blue Peter Book Awards - including the winner of the Best Children's Book of the Last 10 Years, voted for by children. Find out more about the 2012 Blue Peter Book Awards.
- Enter a competition. We have lots of great books to give away, so why not enter one of our competitions? Find out how you could win a copy of Elephant by Petr Horacek or a selection of books from Booktime or follow us on Twitter for a chance to win It's a Book by Lane Smith.
Happy World Book Day!