From the smallest bookshops to the largest retailers, the book trade in the UK and Ireland is getting ready to provide every child and young person redeeming a World Book Day book token with a book of their own – and getting the nation to Share a Story on 7th March. World Book Day media partner, The Bookseller, today launches a nationwide competition to find the most creative and engaging window and in-store displays to showcase World Book Day to customers of all ages.
With more than 15 million book tokens to be given out this year, millions of children will be visiting bookshops around the UK and Ireland to get their free book (or £1 – or €1.50 – off any full price book that takes their fancy). This year’s expanded list of 13 £1 books caters for all age groups, from toddler to teen, and has been created to appeal to the widest possible range of children and young people. World Book Day is providing more colourful and engaging POS than ever, including posters, dumpbins, standees, bookmarks, bunting and stickers, all featuring the family of fabulous, exclusive bookmark illustrations created by Rob Biddulph, World Book Day’s official illustrator for 2019.
Kirsten Grant, Director of World Book Day, said: ‘We know that sharing stories together – anywhere, anytime – for just 10 minutes a day has long-lasting positive effects on a child’s future, and book retailers are at the front line of our mission to get children and young people reading for pleasure. Each year we love to see the creative displays that bookshops produce to bring World Book Day to life for book buyers of all ages. I hope that the combination of a fabulous range of £1 books and an expanded offering of POS this year will encourage more engaging displays than ever before, to entice young readers into bookshops.’
Major retailers are gearing up for World Book Day activity with all WHSmith high street stores to be dressed with WBD POS and encouraged to run events with local schools (the retailer hopes to surpass last year’s 300 events). Each store running an event can donate a £100 voucher for their chosen school to spend on books. There will be local author signings across the country and a 3 for 2 offer on children’s books as well as special buys on book bundles to help cost-conscious parents. Waterstones’ booksellers are planning a variety of creative activities with WBD authors as well as local authors and illustrators joining events with schools and nurseries to celebrate sharing stories. Foyles will create front of house and window displays for WBD in stores as well as showcasing the £1 WBD titles and the backlists of participating authors online. School visits are being organised, particularly in the Stratford branch.
We know from a National Literacy Trust survey of more than 42,000 children that one in four children (one in three for those on free school meals) said that the book they bought with their 2016 £1 World Book Day book token was the first book they had of their own. So World Book Day is partnering with non-traditional book retailers to fulfil its mission as a charity to bring the magic of books and reading to every child and young person. Asda will be supporting WBD with off-shelf space in over 400 stores nationwide whilst Tesco are displaying WBD shippers in 680 stores, with the £1 titles available from all Tesco stores that range books (717). World Book Day events will be organised in 455 Tesco stores; and book tokens will be accepted across all children’s books in all stores across the estate including Tesco Express (2,665 stores). Marks & Spencer will prominently display the £1 titles at the front of their books sections.
In further activity aimed at reaching a wider demographic, the National Literacy Trust is collaborating with The Premier League and WHSmith to run pop-up bookshops in 32 football clubs across all the football leagues to celebrate World Book Day. WHSmith will provide 8,400 books as well as staff to run the shops on match days. The National Trust are teaming up with Hachette to create a children’s discovery trail based around the Ten Little Bookworms £1 WBD book, with 51 National Trust shops taking part in a WBD weekend. All 51 properties will be redeeming the WBD tokens, selling the £1 books and hosting the Ten Little Bookworms children’s trail in the shops, some will be organising World Book Day events, dressing up and hosting authors and storytellers.
Hundreds of independent bookshops all over the UK and Ireland are also gearing up to deliver an incredible World Book Day to their communities. World Book Day is a brilliant opportunity for hundreds of school events run by independents, who take authors into schools, run events in store and external venues, engaging children and joining the joyful noise of a creative and innovative World Book Day in full swing.
Hazel Broadfoot of Village Books and Chair of World Book Day said: ‘We are long-term supporters of World Book Day and are delighted to be joining in the Share A Story campaign. We’ll be hosting hundreds of children for story-telling in the bookshop, and to exchange their tokens for one of this year’s brilliant selection of World Book Day books. We believe the Share a Story message, and the research that underpins it, are incredibly powerful and we are working energetically with other Dulwich businesses to get that message to as many parents and carers as we can.’
Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the Booksellers Association said: ‘Each year bookshops across the country unite behind World Book Day, and create stunning displays and organise brilliant events to welcome and encourage children and young people into their shops to collect their books. We have a strong, vibrant and innovative high street bookselling community of nearly 2,500 outlets, who take part so creatively in World Book Day. The campaign celebrates the joy of reading for pleasure to children and their parents, and reinforces that, alongside schools and libraries, one of the best places to engage with books is a bookshop. We are incredibly proud of the hard work, innovation and collaborative partnerships that we see across the bookselling sector, in the UK and Ireland, from large chains and supermarkets to small independents, all demonstrating how crucial books are to children.’
Retailers across the UK are invited to share a story and post photos and videos of their World Book Day displays, activities and events to The Bookseller’s Twitter account @TheBookseller, using the hashtags #WorldBookDayDisplay, #WorldBookDay and #ShareAStory, between 28th February and 7th March. Three winning entries will be selected by The Bookseller’s children’s editor, Charlotte Eyre, and World Book Day director, Kirsten Grant, and they will each receive two tickets to The Bookseller’s Children’s Conference, coverage in the magazine and on the website, plus a £100 Majestic Wine voucher.
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