World Book Day – The Importance of Reading & Why Every Child Deserves A Book

World Book Day, what is it? Who founded it and why is it such an important event to celebrate? 

We hope that this blog will shed some light on all of the above and that we can promote the importance of reading and why we feel EVERY child deserves a book.

I know, another date to remember, another thing to celebrate and another costume to buy. As parents and carers sometimes it seems impossible to keep track and a little ‘never ending’. We get it, we really do - BUT hear us out, because World Book Day is not another commercialised event that the big wigs make millions off – instead you can readily get your hands on  ‘FREE book tokens’, ‘FREE challenge packs’  and some great ‘FREE activity ideas’.

No need to say anything – we can feel that we are already reeling you in!

What is World Book Day?

Time to take a trip to 1995 - Where the clever bunch of people of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or (UNESCO) because who doesn’t love an acronym? Established World Book Day. 

Why, I hear you ask? Simply because they felt that the joy of reading needed to be something celebrated. A chance for you and your children to encourage the powers of imagination, literary wonders and fantastic authors.

Through generous and charitable donations World Book Day has been a success since 1995 and inclusivity is at the top of their agenda, providing the resources to ensure that every child regardless of their family circumstances, parent’s education or their income have access to a book. 

What is the importance of reading? And why should every child have a book?

Reading should be apart of everyday life, although the benefits of reading are more powerful and enjoyable when the decision to do so is yours. It is important to encourage our little ones to explore books and find out for themselves which ones they like and which they don’t.

Although, kids at school might feel that they are being punished for having to read - in reality we are simply encouraging them to: 

  • Find themselves
  • Expand their vocabularies
  • Find routine and structure
  • Push developmental boundaries
  • Nurture bonds with their peers
  • Spark their imagination
  • Support stronger foundations for their learning
  • Encourage them to perform better in school
  • Ensure they feel included

For more on why reading is important for our little ones check out this article by the Young Readers Foundation here

Where can you find FREE World Book Day tokens?

There are several places for you to visit or sign up to in order to receive a FREE book token:

  • McDonald’s – with each Happy Meal purchase you will receive a FREE book token for World Book Day
  • Nurseries & schools – speak to your local education setting to receive your World Book Day token
  • Sign up to National Book Tokens - by signing up to National Book Tokens you can receive emails packed with exclusive competitions, book recommendations and offers
  • Magazines – there are many children’s magazines that are supplying World Book Day tokens keep your eyes peeled

All book tokens hold the value of £1 and can be exchanged for a range of limited edition books or you can use the token towards the cost of a full priced book.

Dressing up for World Book Day

Although it is not compulsory – a huge part of World Book Day is finding costumes that portray a character from your child’s favourite book. Contrary to popular belief, the book does not need to be widely known – of course you will see lots of ‘Harry Potters’ & ‘Where’s Wally’s’ which is great, but as long as the costume is as close to a character from ANY of your child’s favourite books, then you are winning at World Book Day.


The idea is to make ALL children feel included on the day and the best way to do this is to encourage and support their decisions around characters and costumes. Remembering that the overall outcome is to inspire children to want to read more.

Stuck for book inspirations? BirdKids have you covered with our ‘Book’ selection on our website here

For more information on World Book Day – have a look at  A Message from World Book Day

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