World Book Day announces 13 new titles for 2019 and more range than ever before, plus 'Share A Story takes centre stage

World Book Day is putting more books than ever into its campaign to provide every child and young person in the country with a book of their own. Catering for all age groups, from toddler to teen, the expanded list of 13 new £1 titles announced today for World Book Day 2019 was created to appeal to the widest possible range of children and young people, tastes and abilities, and features characters from all over the world. The list brings together exclusive new stories by much-loved authors Malorie Blackman, Patrice Lawrence, Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Waterstones Children’s Laureate Lauren Child, world-renowned characters Wimpy Kid, Percy Jackson and LEGO® Minifigures, and a whole range of new tales for everyone to explore.

World Book Day is an extraordinary collaboration between the UK and Ireland’s bookselling and publishing industries. Generously supported by sponsor National Book Tokens, it returns after one of its biggest years to date with a range of new initiatives that will help to get more books directly into the hands of more children and young people, especially those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them, including:

  • A ‘Share a Story Live’ events programme that targets National Literacy Trust hubs to bring authors, illustrators and the reading for pleasure message into places where it can have most impact

  • Distribution to all HM prisons in England and Wales for the first time, giving away 20,000 free £1 books

  • Exciting new multi-platform content curated by and created for young people with the support of creative studio Blackcurrent

  • A mammoth 10 million stickers distributed via nurseries, free schools and primary schools in the UK and Ireland

  • Award-winning Rob Biddulph announced as World Book Day’s official illustrator for two years, to create stunning artwork with extra POS material for bookshops

The charity behind the world’s biggest annual celebration of children’s books and reading for pleasure has partnered with the media voice of the industry, The Bookseller, for the first time. The World Book Day 2019 campaign and 13 titles were unveiled at a Facebook Live event at The Bookseller’s HQ in central London. A special animated video was also revealed and can be viewed on the World Book Day website:

Nigel Roby, publisher and chief executive of The Bookseller, said: “World Book Day is one of the most important events in the children’s books calendar and I am delighted to lend our support to the campaign and this year’s fantastic selection of titles.”

In 2018, for the second year running, over 1.08 book tokens were redeemed, with booksellers placing over 1 million £1 books into the hands of children and young people – despite the ‘Beast from the East’, which saw temperatures plummet to -15 in some areas of the country. World Book Day’s live event – ‘The Biggest Book Show on Earth’ – reached record numbers, with 700,000 signing up to the online event, while a further 4,500 braved the snow to join 37 authors and illustrators in person throughout the week. Through generous donations by UK publishers, 6,000 £1 books were made available in prisons in London, the North East and North West, for prisoners to share with visiting families. Adding high-profile political engagement to ongoing support from bookshops and high street chains and supermarkets, World Book Day reached Prime Minister’s Questions, 10 Downing Street and the Scottish Parliament, and was the top Twitter trend in the UK and the US throughout the day. Research by The National Literacy Trust (NLT) has indicated that 60% of children in the UK are inspired to read more by World Book Day and in 2016 a quarter (25.2%) of 8-18 year-olds said that the book they bought with their World Book Day token had been the first book they’d had of their own, rising to a third for those children on free school meals.

For 2019, the charity will build on its established work with schools, libraries, prisons and the National Literacy Trust, and reach deep into the workplace, corporate and public sector life to galvanise an ever-wider constituency around the benefits of reading at an early age, and the importance of sharing stories. The National Literacy Trust’s 2017 survey found that nearly half (47.5%) of Key Stage 2 children don’t read with anyone at home, while children’s book publisher Egmont’s 2017 Print Matters More study revealed that parents reading to children is a major influence in children’s independent reading.

In response to the compelling evidence of the benefits of shared reading to a child’s future, World Book Day’s hugely successful three-year ‘Share a Story’ campaign, now in its second year, is once again taking centre stage as the overarching theme of World Book Day 2019. While continuing to offer children and young people all of the activities that are core to the annual event, World Book Day 2019 will include a call to action to parents and carers to Share a Story with children in their care by reading together for 10 minutes on World Book Day and every day.

Kirsten Grant, Director of World Book Day, said: “We know that sharing stories together, at home or school, in the library or in the park, on a bus or train – anywhere, anytime – for just 10 minutes a day has long-lasting positive effects on a child’s future and creates readers for life. This World Book Day, we’re asking publishers and booksellers to create these 10 minutes for their workforces, at any time during the day, so they can share a story with their own children. Could there be a stronger message to consumers on World Book Day than to see those who publish and sell stories to block out the time to share them? Leading by example, the industry can inspire the entire nation to follow suit, on World Book Day, and beyond.”   

Also this year, World Book Day will launch a rebranded events programme – ‘Share a Story Live’ – to bring major activities into National Literacy Trust hubs nationwide, communities where low levels of literacy have been identified as entrenched, intergenerational and seriously impacting on people’s lives.

World Book Day will add to a wealth of free resources made available for schools and homes including new creative writing video workshops from 12 top authors and illustrators, and also offer bookshops extra POS material including bunting, dumpbins, posters, standees, bookmarks and stickers. These will be designed by World Book Day’s official illustrator for 2019 Rob Biddulph.

The range of £1 books created for 2019 will have something for everyone, from pre-schoolers to school leavers. There is a fresh take on a firm favourite with The Hundred and One Dalmations, adapted by Peter Bently and illustrated by Steven Lenton for younger readers, and brilliant new adventures featuring legendary characters, with Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid, told for the first time by Greg’s best friend Rowley, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson going in search of one of Apollo’s backing singers, and Alex T. Smith’s Claude competing in a dog show. There are new stories from Waterstones Children’s Laureates past and present, Malorie Blackman and Lauren Child, along with a host of wacky and wonderful LEGO Minifigures.

Carnegie Medal-winner Frank Cottrell-Boyce celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and YA Book Prize winner Patrice Lawrence tells a gripping story of friendship and a missing boy. Sibéal Pounder combines her bestselling series in Bad Mermaids Meet The Witches, and Abi Elphinstone embarks on an adventure specially for World Book Day, with Everdark, the start of a brand new series. Ten Little Bookworms by Mike Brownlow and illustrated by Simon Rickerty, and a new mystery featuring Sam Hannigan from Ireland’s Alan Nolan complete the quality line-up. Designed to be as accessible as possible, the list is available in braille, large print and audio formats and there are two additional books in Welsh: Na Nel! by Meleri Wyn James and Cyw by Anni Llyn.

Stephen Lotinga, Vice Chair of World Book Day and CEO of the Publishers Association, said: “This year’s expanded list of titles will make World Book Day 2019 bigger and better than ever. Publishers are passionate advocates of reading for pleasure and they demonstrate this every year by coming together with authors, illustrators, booksellers and librarians to share stories for the biggest nationwide celebration of reading.”

Nic Bottomley, President of the Booksellers Association, said: “World Book Day has unveiled an incredible list of titles for 2019. There really is something in this for everyone. I know that booksellers up and down the country will be getting excited to hand these books to children and young people in exchange for their book tokens. The UK’s book trade is fully behind this important celebration of children’s books and reading for pleasure. I can’t wait for World Book Day 2019.“

Find more information, and join the conversation via: | @WorldBookDayUK

For all media enquiries please contact Annabel Robinson and Sophie Goodfellow at FMcM Associates on 0207 405 7422 or,

Author and illustrator quotes

Peter Bently, author of The Hundred and One Dalmatians: Cruella and Cadpig, said: “Stories were one of the best parts of my childhood. My dad would tell me tales of a boy called Moberley, who once dug a tunnel to Australia, or read from my favourite books with pictures, like Rupert Bear or Winnie the Pooh (I liked bears). Nothing feeds a child’s imagination like sharing a story, and I’ll be delighted if Cruella and Cadpig helps more children to grow up with a love of reading.”

Steven Lenton, illustrator of The Hundred and One Dalmatians: Cruella and Cadpig, said: “My parents read to me for at least ten minutes a night and this made me fall in love with stories and pictures. I’m so thrilled that our book will help to encourage children and families to read together – Cruella and Cadpig is the perfect ten minute tome! You might need an extra ten minutes to find all the ladybirds though...”

Mike Brownlow, author of Ten Little Bookworms, said: “Picture books have a special role to play in the development of children’s learning. They’re the enticing gateway to full literacy, fostering both a love of reading and of inspiring imagery. And of course they’re also the perfect vehicle for adults to share stories with the children in their care. Everything changes when we learn to read. We learn empathy, gain knowledge and nourish the imagination. It’s how minds connect and people understand each other. We need literate citizens more than ever.”

Paula Regan, DK Managing Editor and Author of LEGO® Minifigure Mayhem, said: “For World Book Day 2019, we’ve created an exciting book for young readers based on their favourite LEGO® minifigure characters. It’s fantastic to be able to offer a fun reference title as part of the World Book Day curated list, in order to give children the opportunity to discover a non-fiction reading experience, alongside the fictional stories they encounter. We are truly delighted to be part of this wonderful celebration of books and reading!”

Alex T. Smith, author of Claude: Best In Show, said: “I’m delighted to be part of World Book Day 2019 with Claude: Best in Show. My favourite aspect of being an author-illustrator is meeting families and schools who read my books together, and World Book Day truly is a celebration of the excitement and joy that books bring, especially when shared.”

Lauren Child, Waterstones Children’s Laureate and author of Hubert Horatio, said: “Sharing stories is fundamental to who we are. It is how we make sense of the world and understand ourselves. A book can satisfy our curiosity, give us comfort or hope, escape and joy. Above all books remind us that we are not so different one from another.”

Sibéal Pounder, author of Bad Mermaids Meet the Witches, said: “I’m beyond delighted to be contributing to World Book Day 2019 – it’s an incredible initiative championing the fun of reading in wildly imaginative ways and ensuring every child can take home a book. The most frequent request I receive from readers is to have the witches from Witch Wars and the mermaids from Bad Mermaids meet, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to make that happen.” 

Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson and the Singer of Apollo, said: “I love World Book Day! I’m delighted to have Percy Jackson back at the forefront of this year’s event. I encourage everyone to Share a Story with a young person for World Book Day 2019. Reading is the best way to share an adventure!”

Frank Cottrell-Boyce, author of The Great Rocket Robbery, said: “WORLD BOOK DAY… When all your favourite characters come tumbling off the shelves and into the street and the classroom in their suits of armour, witches’ hats, Harry Potter specs, Hobbit feet, Wonka top hats, Poppins brollies, Elvish cloaks and duffel coats… THE DAY AFTER WORLD BOOK DAY… When they’ve all gone back inside their covers… follow them and see what adventures you’ll have…”

Jeff Kinney, creator of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, said: “I’ve long admired the inventive and ambitious efforts World Book Day go to year after year to switch kids on to reading. And this year’s ‘Share a Story’ theme felt like the perfect opportunity to join in the fun by sharing the Wimpy Kid universe from Rowley Jefferson’s point of view. It’s been very energizing for me to have the opportunity to write from the perspective of Greg Heffley’s best friend, and I hope that readers who choose this story enjoy this whole new insight into the Wimpy world.”

Abi Elphinstone, author of Everdark, said: “The stories I discovered as a child taught me to believe in dragons, wizards and worlds behind wardrobes but they also taught me to believe in myself. They showed me that at 8 years old, I was a match for The White Witch and a hall full of armoured polar bears. Stories are infinitely powerful and I am thrilled to be a part of World Book Day – one of the biggest, most dynamic and most influential campaigns celebrating the joy of stories. I hope that Smudge’s tale in Everdark shows kids from all walks of life that sometimes the truly extraordinary people in this world – the ones who defeat harpies and save kingdoms – are the ones that nobody notices at first...”

Patrice Lawrence, author of Snap, said: “I feel so proud and privileged to be part of World Book Day. I was a child bookworm but never believed that people like me could be in or write books. I hope that Word Book Day inspires young people both to read and to tell their own stories.”

Malorie Blackman, author of Nought Forever, said: “I’m thrilled to be a part of World Book Day 2019 with my book Nought Forever. Year after year, World Book Day books are instrumental in actively encouraging children to read for pleasure. This year’s selection truly has something for everyone.”

Alan Nolan, author of Sam Hannigan’s Rock Star Granny, said: “I am tickled pink to be involved in World Book Day 2019! My love of sharing stories came directly from my own Granny, Lizzie Bun, and my great-granny, Nanny Gigg, both of whom made my childhood magical with their barely-believable-but-definitely-true tales and their wild passion for reading. Our house was a house of books and wild flights of fantasy and imagination, thanks to Lizzie Bun and her mammy, so much so that Nanny Gigg has become a main character in my series of Sam Hannigan books. I like to think of the books as a tribute to the two strong women who filled my childhood with books, stories and joy, and set me on the path to do exactly the same thing for children today.”


Notes to Editors

About World Book Day:

World Book Day is the registered charity behind the world’s biggest annual celebration of children’s books. It is dedicated to celebrating the benefits of reading for pleasure for everyone, everywhere – promoting the magic of books, the power of imagination and the importance of sharing stories. Designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, World Book Day is marked in over 100 countries around the globe.

It is sponsored by National Book Tokens and supported generously each year by the publishing industry, book trade, authors and illustrators. Every year, with a host of publishers and booksellers, World Book Day curates a list of bespoke £1 books for children and young people across the UK and Ireland. World Book Day’s mission is to encourage children and young people to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.

To mark the day each year, children are welcomed into bookshops and supermarkets across the nation where they can redeem their £1 World Book Day book token (or equivalent €1.50 in Ireland) to redeem for a free World Book Day title or, if they prefer, they can use it to get £1 off any book or audiobook of their choice, costing £2.99 or more. The day also sees children bringing books to life through an array of organised events and activities in schools, bookshops, libraries and at home.

About National Book Tokens:  

National Book Tokens are the perfect gift for book lovers everywhere and are the only gift cards sold and accepted in bookshops across the UK and Ireland, including all the major chains and local independents. As proud sponsors of World Book Day, National Book Tokens supports lifelong learning and improving literacy and access to reading for everyone.

For all media enquiries please contact Annabel Robinson and Sophie Goodfellow at FMcM Associates on 0207 405 7422 or,