Ever since I was a little boy and went to Primary School, I dreamt of becoming a published children's book author, and now I am in my thirties (nearly forties), my dream has finally become a reality. I loved English lessons at school and coming up with quirky ideas and stories. At the same time, other things took over my life, being a typical teenager, but as I entered my thirties, my love for writing reignited. This resulted in me writing 'Max And The Magic Wish' and now 'Paddy The Polar Bear Teddy,' amongst other pieces such as song lyrics and blogs.
But that's enough about me because I want to concentrate on a wonderful day in our yearly calendar, WORLD BOOK DAY! Why is World Book Day so special? I think it is unique because it encourages children to read from a fun and imaginative perspective and for development and educational reasons! May that be by themselves or part of a group of other readers at school. As part of a book club, or even simply reading a bedtime story with parents. With technology more accessible than ever and even though we now have Ebooks and Audiobooks, I still think the enjoyable experience of picking up the good old physical hardback or paperback and losing yourself in the euphoria of reading a story word by word, line by line and chapter by chapter is still very magical and more of a personal experience for all readers alike. But also, in some ways, I embrace the way technology can bring readers together. This year is the 25th anniversary of World Book Day, and this year's theme is 'You are a reader,' and children are being encouraged to read their favourite book or dress as their favourite characters to help them engage with literature.
I have written two children's books, and my first one is called 'Max And The Magic Wish' and is about a little boy who has cerebral palsy who wants to become accepted despite being in a wheelchair. My second one is called 'Paddy The Polar Bear Teddy,' a magical space adventure story about courage, friendship, wisdom, and kindness. A polar bear teddy must find a way of returning home to rescue his beloved mother, who the evil queen has imprisoned.
If you wish to get your hands on copies of my books, the Amazon links are on this website.
So, here are my three best ways how to celebrate not only World Book Day itself but how to continue helping others and make a difference every day:-
ORGANISE AN 'OUT OF SCHOOL' OR AFTER-SCHOOL BOOK CLUB - Lead the way! It's always good to read, whether's it's a children's book, a fantasy novel, a comic book or a good old thriller. Reading also can bring people together socially. Whether you are a parent or adult who wants to bring the 'grown-ups' together for an afternoon of quiet reading or are somebody who wants to encourage children to read, or you are a kid yourself and want to get together with friends for some reading. Reading as a group can be very helpful, be sure to encourage active discussions about the books you read whilst at any book clubs you get involved with. Some people may not be as competent with reading as others, and discussing the stories and messages behind those books together may help them understand the story. It will help them improve their reading and social skills with others.
HOLD A BOOK EXCHANGE EVENT AND MAKE IT FUN - This could be a book exchange with a difference! You encourage people and children to bring a book to this event to exchange it with another person. You also ask them to dress up as their favourite character from the book. Authors like to make up all different kinds of characters. These characters could be friendly, scary, funny, or even naughty in some cases. But this certainly GETS PEOPLE TALKING and INTERACTING. Curiosity is a marvellous thing, and once the conversation or interactions start, that's not only when the fun begins, but the educational, emotional and most importantly, inclusive aspects of storytelling come to light. Expression and touch come to the surface then. This can only be a good thing for the deaf community and people with learning disabilities, and even Autism, finding it more challenging to communicate. This way, more people can feel more included on WORLD BOOK DAY and more often. Everyone has the right to feel included.
HOLD AN ONLINE BOOK READING EVENT - As an author, I've been involved with some online reading events. But due to my speech impediment, somebody else reads my story. On one occasion, the online event involved many different schools within a County Council Borough. It was fantastic, and because we held the event online, we had scope to reach out to more children in one session. This is when you can really make a difference and spread a positive message more widely. Even though I wasn't physically in the same classroom as the children, I could still feel and see their reactions to my story. It was all positive, which is lovely. Still, holding an online event is easy to organise, and it doesn't have to be for 'World Book Day'. These can go ahead on any day or special occasion you choose. This is when education becomes accessible to all, and we can slowly start to become more inclusive bit by bit.
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Thank you for reading all my blogs and for your continued support.