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We asked for your views on the choice of books for World Book Day this year…here’s what you told us.
Opinions are definitely continue to be divided about the selection for this year.
Some teachers and librarians felt the choice was too limited and predominantly featured ‘celebrity’ authors who are already saturating the market. They felt this didn’t encourage children to read widely or discover new authors, which may hinder their reading progress rather than act as a stepping stone to further reading. The quality of such celebrity writing was also brought into question, along with a disappointment that so many brilliant new authors missed out on the opportunities that having a World Book Day Book could offer them.
Others, however, felt that these shorter, celebrity titles may be more appealing to children as they have visual experience of them through television and social media. Books, stories and poetry is opinion based – who’s to say whose books are better?
One teacher told us, “They are certainly more appealing to today’s children, who spend most of their free time glued to a games console nowadays. Also, the length is more appealing to the children – a book may have a gorgeous front cover and likeable blurb but if it is a huge big thick one, often they don’t get chosen.”
A short book, written by someone famous, with an appealing front cover that the majority of children can access, does indeed go some way to encourage reading among an ever increasingly technology driven generation. Ultimately, if the World Book Day books inspire children to read, whatever the perceived quality of the selection, surely that’s a positive outcome.
Chris Riddell recently spent the day with the charity Read for Good, inspiring children from two Dulwich schools who’d taken part in its Readathon, as well as seeing the charity’s mobile bookcase and storyteller in action at Evelina Children’s Hospital. Dulwich Pre-Prep won a visit from Chris as part of a competition run in association with the Hay Festival, inviting neighbouring school Dulwich Woods Primary to watch Chris Riddell’s amazing live drawing and hear him talk about how finding books he loved in the library got him into reading as a child.
Author of Goth Girl, former children’s laureate and president of the School Library Association, Chris Riddell said: “Read for Good is of course a force for good. Its Readathon gets whole schools reading – what a thing – supporting school libraries and bringing the power of stories to children in hospital. One of the most important things you can do is encourage children to read. Read for Good does this in buckets with its Readathon. I’ve seen its impact firsthand both in schools and hospitals.”
We are looking for schools to pilot our ‘Stories in Schools’ initiative which involves 3 full days of workshops with one of our fabulous storytellers.
Click here to find out more about getting involved in our ‘Stories in Schools’ project.
Following the successful first DGAT Readathon in 2017 that saw 10 schools raise £5000, this year 15 DGAT schools are coming together to get reading and raising.
DGAT Chief Executive, Rachel Howie said: “We’re always looking for new ways to excite children about reading as part of fostering a real culture of reading for pleasure – and all the benefits this brings – and our mass sponsored read really motivated everyone to get raising and reading. Also, running a Readathon across a group of schools is a really powerful way to build a sense of community across our academy chain..”
In preparation for this, pupil representatives and their teachers attended a Read for Good workshop to help them get ready to launch their Readathon with the whole school. We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and confidence of the pupils and have no doubt they will motivate and encourage the rest of the school to really create a buzz about reading in for their next Readathon, and beyond!
Keep reading, raising…and being amazing!
We are actively looking for other academy chains to work with on a MAT-wide Readathon. If you are interested in being part of this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01453 839005.
This is Joseph Costello, age 6. Joseph read for a fantastic sixty-three and a half hours in just under 3 weeks, for his school’s sponsored read!! He devoured 52 books, including ALL of the Tom Gates, Jeremy Strong, the Dave Pigeon books and books by Pamela Butchart , which were his favourite. There were even some Beanos thrown in for good measure!
Well done Joseph and Waddington Redwood Primary School!