Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Reading is Power

    It's 'World Book Day' in the UK, Thursday 7 March. A day for readers, authors, illustrators, editors, publishers and all things in the writing world to celebrate stories.

    www.worldbookday.com is a charity whose mission is to give every child and young person a book of their own and their website has fantastic ideas as to how to get kids involved in this celebration. From readathons, designing a National Book Token, to being a guest of the BBC for a WBD live lesson and all  school children will be also given a book token.

    One other activity is for children to dress-up as a favourite character from a book, which I am all for. However, there is one thing that is getting on my nerves and please forgive me while I explain myself.

    The fact is that lots of supermarkets and various online retailers are now selling an abundance of costumes for adults and children alike to wear on this day. What do I have against this? Well, the problem I have with this is that there are so many children living in poverty all over the world, many of whom will never be told stories, or own a book. The retail price of some of these outfits are from £15.00 upwards. Hell, that could go a long way to providing reading, and writing materials for children in many classrooms. As well as filling little empty bellies in a time when we have seen a rise in food banks in the western world.

    Making costumes is fun, seriously, recycle old clothing, get out the bin bags and duct tape. Forget lining the coffers of the retailers, remember some of these outfits on sale will be made in conditions we could never imagine. #FairTrade

    This day isn't about making profit, it is a yearly event organised by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright. We're now in danger of forgetting what the whole day is about, as is happening with Easter and Christmas, commercialisation is taking over.

     World Book Day is all about demonstrating that #Readingispower.

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