Sharing a love of reading and books through World Book Day
There are many significant dates in the month of March. We have the first day of spring – in fact, there are two ‘first days’ as March 1 is the vernal equinox and March 20 is the spring equinox – March 8 is International Women’s Day, and the clocks go forward on March 26. But, here at The Elephant’s Trunk HQ, the one that we love to celebrate is World Book Day, which this year took place on March 2.
Aimed squarely at children and educators, the idea is to put children’s literature and the importance of reading front and centre. Schools stage dress up days and share stories, and younger children in the UK and Ireland are given a £1 or €1 token to put towards a book of their choice.
As the organisers behind World Book Day say, they want to “see more children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them”.
Of course, this is all absolutely up our street! We’re all about getting children enthusiastic about reading and sharing their favourite book, and if they get to go to school dressed as a storybook character then all the better.
Books and reading should be open to all. It’s one of the most inclusive activities possible, and as you know, inclusivity sits at the very heart of The Elephant’s Trunk, and the personalised children’s stories we write and publish.
What reading means to friends of The Elephant’s Trunk
We all remember how much we enjoyed reading and being read to as children, so we thought we’d ask our lovely friends and contacts for their story time anecdotes. Here’s what they told us:
“When I was young, the highlight of my week was the Saturday morning trip to the library with my Dad,” said Jo. “This was long before the days of computers, so there was always a queue to take the books out, as the librarian had to date stamp each card that was in the back of the book. I think we were allowed to borrow six at any one time, for a maximum of three weeks. I’d pick mine quickly, so I’d sit in the children’s book corner reading while Dad chose some for himself.”
And Lucy said: “I was a few years older than my little sister, so I remember reading to her as well as enjoying my own books. She especially love Charlotte’s Web, but then who doesn’t! My own favourites were Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series – amazing books, about growing up as a settler in America.”
Sally added: “I had particular books that I read over and over, like the Enid Blyton Faraway Tree series. I do remember, though, when my parents encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and look in the book section for slightly older children at the library. There I discovered the Green Knowe stories and others like The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. I also started reading some ghost stories – not necessarily a wise move, as I had the odd nightmare as a result.”
Here's a lovely anecdote from Sean. “Sunday afternoons always involved a visit to my grandparents. Don’t get me wrong, I really loved them, but my aunt and uncle were there too, so I had a boring couple of hours of sitting listening to adults talking about whatever adults talk about. Books saved me. I’d take a couple of favourites, and pore over those to pass the time.”
Kerry shared this anecdote: “Our family summer holiday typically was in a self-catering cottage in the countryside somewhere, and my brother and I could choose a new book to take with us to read whilst on holiday (and not before!) The smell of a new paperback book is one of the joys of my childhood and is still with me now - just opening a new book and fanning through the pages with my nose pressed into the spine. I do get some funny looks from people!”
Tracy told us: “For me, reading a book made me feel independent. It was something that I could choose for myself - as a kid you didn’t get to choose much! Now, reading a book with my children is a night-time ritual and a time to put down phones and connect.”
And finally, this from Graham. “I don't remember much about reading as a kid, but in my teens, it was Lord of the Rings, which I could not put down, and CS Forester’s naval books that really engaged me. Books, like radio, allows you to imagine things in far more detail than the very best special effects can.”
We’d love to hear your stories of reading as a child, what it meant to you and what memories it conjures up. You can get in touch with us here.