Tomorrow is World Book Day but we celebrated it today, a day early, at Holly’s school!
I love World Book Day because it’s fantastic to see so many children get excited about books. My daughter’s school, St Nicholas’ Primary, in Old Marston, Oxford, always celebrates by having the children dress up as a book character, and bringing a copy of the book in to show the others. In a special assembly, the children go up, class by class, to say who they are to the rest of the school.
The teachers also dress up, and usually do so according to a theme. This year it was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, so there were Oompa Loompas and Augustus Gloops bounding around the corridors. The headteacher dressed up in an amazing Cruella de Vil outfit, with a colleague donning a Dalmation costume.
Holly decided, rather ironically, to dress as a schoolgirl! She was Isabel from The Twins at St Clare’s so the outfit was pretty simple – although we did have to find a purple cardigan (she had an old one), borrow her dad’s dark blue tie, and put some freckles on her face.
To help celebrate Book Week in her school, my friend Lynne – who kindly looked after this blog last July – and I organised a Book Swap event alongside our lovely Literacy Coordinator in the school. The idea was (fairly!) simple:
- A letter/email was sent out to parents last week to advertise the event.
- We asked for children to bring in a book that they would be happy to part with in exchange for a ‘new’ book.
- Teachers kept a list of all children who had brought in a book.
- We made tokens by finding pictures of bookworms from Clipart, copying them onto bright paper, laminating them and then cutting them into little token shapes. These were then given out to teachers to allocate to the children at the end of the day today before they came to the event.
- The children then came in, chose their book, and then put their token into pretty shoeboxes.
- We can now recycle the book tokens for future events!
- We also had some lovely giveaways, kindly provided by our friends at Little Tiger Press, Random House Children’s Publishers and Doring Kindersley Children’s Books, such as bookmarks, postcards, posters, pens and balloons.
The event was a huge success, we’re delighted to say! The children were brought in at a staggered pace so the hall was never too overcrowded, and the books flew off the tables. What was so great to see were children hunting eagerly for certain types of books, sharing their finds with their friends and just generally getting excited about books. I think in an age where we worry about the impact of technology and television on young children, it’s heartening to see that they still love looking at books.
We also heard some touching stories about how children relate to books. One that particularly brought a lump to the throat was a friend who said that when she and her sons were looking for books to donate, they suddenly became very possessive about them. Beforehand, she’d worried that they weren’t that bothered about reading. However, choosing just one book to give away became quite a difficult decision because each had certain memories attached to them, such as reading them at bedtime with dad.
This goes to show that books go beyond the written word on the page, especially with children. There certainly is more to a book than its cover.
And finally, just to embarrass Holly, who begged ME not to dress up this year as I had done previously, here’s a picture of me from last year dressed as David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny. See Holly? I told you I’d embarrass you in the end!
- Did you celebrate World Book Day? Please tell us what you did!
- If you could dress up as any character, who would it be?