World Book Day is the United Nation’s Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) sponsored worldwide celebration of books and reading.
Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books." - Bell Hooks
Celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide, 1 March 2012 is UNESCO’s 15th World Book Day when children of all ages will be encouraged to find excitement and pleasure in books and reading.
Origins of UNESCO World Book Day
A Spanish custom since 1923, booksellers in the Spanish region of Catlonia held a book festival in honour of Miguel de Cervantes, author of the classic tale of Don Quixote.
Originally celebrated on 23 April, the Spanish ‘La Diaba de Sant Jordi’ – Day of Saint George, was marked by an exchange of gifts between lovers. Men would give their sweethearts a rose, and women would give a book in return.
By a stroke of good fortune, the Julian calendar day of Cervantes death falls on the Gregorian calendar day of Shakespeare's birth making 23 April the ideal date for a cross-cultural celebration of Latin an English literature.
Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good." - Maya Angelou
Inspired by the educational and cultural possibilities of the coincidence, UNESCO initially adopted 23 April as World Book Day before settling on a more internationally memorable date.
World Book Day in Spain is celebrated with street performers, musicians and book readings including 24-hour marathon readings of Don Quixote. In the UK, the day is marked by events and promotions from literacy and children’s charities to encourage parents and children to read together.
Sharing the gift of a passion for reading
Encouraging grown ups to read with children and share the excitement of opening books together is the essential step toward children reading for themselves. Research by The National Literacy Trust shows that a third of parents don’t realise they are the most important influence on their child’s language and literacy skills.
Reading at home is shown to be biggest influence and predictor of a child’s success – more so than the family’s income. The good news from the research is that nine out of ten parents want to spend more time helping their children develop their reading skills.
Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." - Emilie BuchwaldWriters and publishers of faith based literature have put more thought and resources into children’s literacy that many secular books made purely for entertainment. First books of Bible stories for children are produced to a high standard with quality illustrations and easy to read text.
Christian books for children are particularly well suited to the vital interaction between grown ups and children in those early reading years. Written in short easy to follow sentences the stories are ideal for parents to read to children, and for children to read back to parents.
Faith based children's books made for sharing
With thoughtfully laid out text and clear print, the words are easy for children to follow with their fingers as they learn to form letters into words, words into sentences and sentences into stories.
For Eden.co.uk’s recommendations of the newest children’s book and bestselling favourites, go to any Eden.co.uk and click on the ‘Christian Books’ tag at the top of the page and follow ‘Children’s Books’. There you’ll find the UK’s brightest and best choice of Children’s faith based story books and Children’s Bibles.
It is not enough to simply teach children to read... stretch their imaginations - help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own." - Katherine PattersonMake World Book Day a day to rediscover the joy of sharing books and Bibles with the children in your care and give them the best possible start to becoming good readers, informed thinkers, keen explorers and fast learners at home and in school.
Quick Guide to Christian books for Children and grown ups
What is there?
- Bibles and Bible stories in simple words and pictures for grown ups to read to children.
- Stories, poems and prayes - some with activities suitable for the very youngest to share.
- Books for children to follow the words, join in with and begin to read back to grown ups.
What will they do for me?
- Give you age appropriate, text, illustrations and faith-based content that helps children to read.
- Pure picture books, activity based books, Bible stories, early readers and purposeful fiction.
- Introduce the stories and themes of the Christian faith in age appropriate words and pictures.
March 1st, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison