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World Book Day

World Book Day is a celebration of reading that takes place in March every year. Over 100 countries are involved in the celebrations which include low or no-cost access to books, fun activities to explore the stories you’re reading, and even a competition!

Author, Michael Morpurgo, an older man wearing a blue shirt and a red denim jacket. To his right are the words ‘World Book Day’ and underneath them is a cartoon pencil with a light bulb on top

The UK World Book Day founder, Baroness Gail Rebuck, drew on her own struggles with education and learning when she was a child while she was creating the celebration, turning something that was hard to access into her passion.

World Book Day focuses on reading for pleasure, and our activities will explore the six elements that they recommend, helping you to enjoy the books you’re diving into. The elements are:

  • Being read to regularly.
  • Having books at home and school.
  • Having a choice in what to read.
  • Finding time to read.
  • Having trusted help to find a book.
  • Making reading fun!

World Book Day 2024 Books

Read a story together

Reading together is a lovely family activity family and borrowing books from a library gives you free access to all kinds of reading materials.

Below is a link to join the RNIB Library, but first here are some suggestions for things to try while you’re reading:

  • Pick a book to read together then find a comfortable space. Remember to check that the environment works for everyone: think about lighting and any external noise or other sensory distractions.
  • Read the story together, taking it in turns to read a line, paragraph or page.
  • Bring the story to life by adding sound effects or trying different voices for the characters. If you have them, use props to represent different aspects of the story.
  • When you’ve finished the story, ask each other questions to see how much of it you can remember – this can be made into a competition if that is something your family enjoys.

If you need the same book in different formats, here are some places to try:

The RNIB Library provides free audio and electronic books: RNIB Library > Home.

Clearvision Project produce large-print and braille resources: Clearvision Project.

Living Paintings have audio and tactile images: Books For Blind Children and Adults – Living Paintings.

Or, try Nosy Crow for audio-described books: Nosy Crow – Award-winning independent children’s book publisher.

Recreating the story

Imagine the characters, settings and ideas in the story coming alive in your mind - try some of these activities to bring them to life:

  • Dress up:

Do the characters dress in a particular way, have a certain hairstyle, accessories? Use clothes and items from your home to get into character and imagine how it feels to be them. You could even try out your new voice for the character too!

  • Set the scene:

Where does the story take place? Gather plants and flowers to recreate outdoor settings. Make a mountain range by piling up cushions or use them to build tunnels to crawl through.

  • Put it all together:

Try to recall scenes from the book and act them out in your own style. What did you remember and what did you miss? Did you learn anything new about the character when you were pretending to be them?

Don’t forget to think about all the senses when recreating a scene or bringing a story to life. How does the story smell, feel, and sound? Bag Books provide some great sensory story ideas but you can make story sacks of your own to accompany any favourite tales.

Rewriting the story

Some traditional stories change with years of retelling. If you could rewrite the story you just read, what would you change?

You could try this game, which works best when played with a minimum of four people:

  • Copy the opening line from a story onto a piece of paper then put away the storybook.
  • Invite someone to add their own, made up, second line to the story, write it below the first line on the piece of paper then fold it, leaving only their line visible. This is then passed to the next person.
  • Keep writing the story one line and one person at a time until the paper is full.
  • Read the story out loud and see if you like it. When you get good at it, you could try taking the story in some crazy directions!

If a child is unable to read or write independently, you can ask someone to write for them, to take turns speaking with one person writing down the story as you go, or you could record your story instead.

Share your story on our Facebook group or let us know what books and stories your children enjoy: RNIB - Parents & Carers Of VI Children | Facebook.

Reading resources for children and families

Many websites explore reading in a child-friendly way. Here are some links to get you started:

  • The World Book Day website gives activities for families and schools all year round as well as listing all current and previous World Book Day titles: World Book Day
  • Paths to Literacy helps parents and educators to develop the reading skills of their child: Paths to Literacy
  • Guide Dogs’ CustomEyes service recreates books in your preferred print format for the Recommended Retail Price: CustomEyes Books | Guide Dogs

RNIB World Book Day Creative Writing Competition for Children with Vision Impairment

Details

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is inviting submissions from children with vision impairment for a piece of creative writing (prose or poetry in any form or style is welcome), centred around the theme of “Adventure”.

Taking the lead from RNIB’s motto, ‘See differently’, we want to celebrate different ways of seeing, beholding, and sensing an adventure that you’ve been on or one that you can imagine.

No previous experience of creative writing is required – we are keen to receive submissions from as wide a field as possible. Applicants from traditionally marginalised groups are particularly welcome.

Rules

  • The competition is open to any child or young person between the ages of 5-12 years with a vision impairment in the UK.
  • The competition runs from 9am on 1 January 2024, to midnight 25 February 2024.
  • Send in an original piece of writing up to 500 words in a Word document, MP3 audio or MP4 video, via email.  Or hard copy braille posted to RNIB, The Grimaldi Building, 154a Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JE.
  • The piece of writing must be based on the theme “Adventure”.
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • The use of AI, such as ChatGPT is not permitted.
  • One submission per author: this will be the first entry emailed to us.
  • Email all entries with the subject of “WBD competition” to [email protected].  Or if you are posting please address the entry to Lara Marshall.
  • The top three entries will be sent to award-winning author Michael Morpurgo for him to choose the final winner.
  • All entries submitted will be read and shortlisted by the RNIB library team.

Prizes

The winner will receive a signed set of ten of Michael Morpurgo’s books, in their preferred format.

Some suggestions to inspire you, but please feel free to come up with your own ideas too:

  • Travelling somewhere new on holiday.
  • Having a crazy dream.
  • Encountering a strange individual.
  • Finding an interesting artefact.Going on a quest to find mysterious treasure.
  • Finding yourself lost in a place you’ve never been before.
  • Having to save a friend in peril.

We can’t wait to read your submission and wish you the very best of luck!