World Book Day 2022: costume ideas, activities, when is it in the UK? Launch of Matt Lucas and Michael Morpurgo

From Harry Potter to The Gruffalo, some of our most treasured stories come from books

World Book Day 2022 will be the 25th edition of the event in the UK (Image: Adobe)

From Harry Potter to Gangsta Granny, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to The Gruffalo, some of our culture’s most enduring stories come from children’s books.

But getting kids to read when there are competing entertainments, like Fortnite, Twitch and TikTok, isn’t always an easy task.

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This is part of the reason why World Book Day is so important here in the UK, as it gives children the chance to find books in their own way.

So when exactly will World Book Day 2022 be – and what sort of things will happen?

Here’s everything you need to know.

World Book Day activities often involve dressing up as characters, such as Harry Potter (Image: Getty Images)

What is World Book Day?

World Book Day is an initiative to promote the love of books and reading for pleasure among young people.

Created by the United Nations cultural agency Unesco in 1995, it reached the UK in 1997 – making this year’s edition the 25th to be held here.

Here in the UK, 15 million pound tokens are given to children under 18 through their school or nursery.

These can be redeemed at most bookstores for one of around twelve titles on sale specifically for World Book Day (see more on this below).

Or they can be used to get £1 off a book or audiobook.

Matt Lucas is one of the authors releasing a special edition book for World Book Day 2022 which can be redeemed for a National Book Token (Image: Getty Images)

It’s part of an attempt to get everyone to read, regardless of their background or their family’s financial situation.

World Book Day aims to encourage children and their parents to spend 10 minutes a day either reading or sharing stories with each other.

The organization says it can contribute to a child’s future success because studies have shown Reading not only improves a child’s vocabulary and test scores in English, but can also benefit their mental well-being.

As well as giving the gift of reading, World Book Day also hosts events you can connect with.

When is World Book Day 2022?

World Book Day 2022 will take place on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

However, World Book Day Book Tokens will be valid at participating retailers between Thursday, February 17 and Sunday, March 27.

What books are being launched for World Book Day 2022?

Each year, a number of unique books are published by top authors.

These can be redeemed for a book token or, if your child wants more than one, are all priced at £1.

Books, like Harry Potter, not only help improve a child’s vocabulary but can also contribute to their mental well-being (Image: Getty Images)
  • ‘Rocket Rules: Ten Small Ways to Think Big!’ – Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola
  • “Dinosaur Roar and Friends!” -Peter Curtis and Jeanne Willis
  • “Hey Duggee: The World Book Day Badge” – Studio AKA
  • ‘Grimwood: Five Weirdly Funny Fables’ – Nadia Shireen
  • ‘Jemima the Pig and the 127 Acorns’ – Michael Morpurgo and Guy Parker-Rees
  • ‘My very very very very very very very silly true or false book’ – Matt Lucas and Sarah Horne
  • “The world’s worst class in danger!” – Joanna Nadin and Rikin Parekh
  • ‘PEAK PERIL: A High Rise Mystery’ – Sharna Jackson
  • ‘The Wizard and I: More Misadventures of Bubbles the Guinea Pig’ – Simon Farnaby and Claire Powell
  • “Think like a boss: Discover the skills that turn great ideas into CASH” – Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Adam Hayes
  • “The Last Word” – Ben Bailey Smith
  • ‘Boy, Gone’ – Sophie McKenzie
  • ‘Mortal! Irish History: Have fun with the Celts and Vikings!’ -John Farrelly
  • ‘Cluasa Capaill ar an Rí’ – Bridget Bhreathnach and Shona Shirley Macdonald

World Book Day Costumes

Many British schools celebrate World Book Day by allowing pupils to wear book-themed costumes.

Here are some simple costume ideas you can improvise at home:

  • gangster granny – David Walliams became a bestseller thanks to this funny character. All you need is a blouse, cardigan and gray wig (or gray hair dye) to turn your child into an improvised Gangsta Nan
  • Harry Potter or Hermione Granger – Practically JK Rowling’s future wizards all wear standard school uniforms. So you just need a tie and a stick for a wand (and glasses and a lightning bolt scar if you go for Harry Potter)
  • Long John Silver – Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” character gives you an excuse to dress your child up as a pirate. All you need is a white shirt, black pants, and a painted beard to get the look. You can make an eye patch out of cardboard and string. And if buying a hat seems a bit too much, find some gear you can turn into a bandana.
  • Peter Pan or Wendy – Peter Pan needs an oversized green polo shirt and a pair of tights (preferably green). You can fashion a conical hat out of cardboard and color it or paint it green. For Wendy, all you have to do is put your child in her Sunday outfit and give her a ribbon hair tie

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About Catharine C. Bean

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