In case you didn’t know it, World Book Day is coming and it’s not going to be ignored.
In an imperfect world where modern parents have less time to read to their children and there are fewer “proper” books around anyway, the annual celebration is to boldly go all-out next month to imprint itself on our consciousness.
Events, hosted by children’s performance poet, writer and illustrator Laura Dockrill and designed to get youngsters excited about books, will be stretching out over two weeks in schools, bookshops and libraries and big among them, quite literally, will be its first ever live tour - with Newcastle one of just five cities picked to play host.
Here, we’re gearing up for what’s billed as the Biggest Book Show On Earth which will stop off at the Theatre Royal at 10.30am on March 7, bringing guest authors and illustrators Jonathan Stroud, Cathy Cassidy, Steve Butler, Charlie Fletcher and Alex T. Smith and Caryl Hart who will be delivering a few handy story-telling tips to attending schools and are among the writers with titles included in World Book Day’s popular £1 Book scheme.
Special tokens will also be handed out in schools and nurseries in Newcastle this month which can then be exchanged for one of the 10 specially-printed £1 titles - for free.
Those who can’t make the date for the big tour need not miss out either as The Biggest Book Show On Earth is also being launched online with a new pre-recorded format, filmed at a London school and showing authors talking about writing and illustrating stories, their inspiration and creativity.
Compered by CBBC stars Dick and Dom, the film will also be shown in some cinemas across the country.
It’s all exciting stuff and certainly Kirsten Grant, director of World Book Day, has high hopes of wider than ever success.
She said: “We are ecstatic to be touring The Biggest Book Show On Earth this year.
“We’ve held it in London for the past two years and by popular request we are now travelling up, down and across the country.
“We have such a great mix of author and illustrator talent ready to inspire and arouse creativity in children everywhere - we can’t wait!”
Visit www.worldbookday.com for the full list of coming attractions around World Book Day.