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Taking place on Thursday 10 June, this year’s Empathy Day promises to be a fantastic event, with a live online festival led by inspirational children’s authors and illustrators. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about and celebrate empathy, with creative and practical ways for young people to understand the importance of imagining and sharing someone else’s feelings.

Empathy Day is organised by the people at EmpathyLab who also provide free toolkits and brilliant resources for schools and families – all designed to help children and young people experience empathy through literature and get inspired to put empathy into action. Books and reading are an incredibly effective way of experiencing empathy, so here at World Book Day we are delighted to support this initiative. Get started by taking a look at Empathy Shorts, twelve original 500-word empathy-boosting short stories from leading children’s writers. 

The programme of events this year launches with Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, and features a stellar line-up including Malorie Blackman, Michael Morpurgo and Jacqueline Wilson. There’s even a special Empathy Day #DrawWithRob with World Book Day illustrator Rob Biddulph. Starting at 10am the festival is streaming here on the day, and will be available to view afterwards too. 

The day finishes with the Empathy Conversation – a debate about the role of empathy in society and education with authors Michael Rosen, Catherine Johnson and David Baddiel and leading psychologist Professor Robin Banerjee. Tune in live here at 6pm on 10 June or catch up later in your own time.