World Book day was created by UNESCO on 23rd April 1995 to celebrate books and authors and encourage young people to discover the pleasure of reading.
The first World Book Day in the UK and Ireland took place in 1997 to promote reading for fun. As World Book Day founder, Baroness Gail Rebuck, recalls “We wanted to do something to reposition reading and our message is the same today as it was then – that reading is fun, relevant, accessible, exciting, and has the power to transform lives.”
Now World Book Day continues to encourage children and young people to read for pleasure through its work with authors, illustrators, bookshops and libraries. Thanks to National Book Tokens, book publishers and booksellers, World Book Day, in partnership with schools all over the country, now distributes more than 15 million £1 World Book Day book tokens to children and young people (that’s almost one for every child/young person under 18 in the UK and Ireland).
For two years, we have promoted the benefits of parents and carers reading with children in our ‘Share a Story’ campaign and aim to reach a target of one million stories shared with young readers in 2020.