World Book Day launches in Ireland
World Book Day is setting out to reach more children than ever with the joy of reading in 2023.
Launching today in Ireland, the annual celebration of books and reading has teamed up with Children’s Books Ireland and Foras na Gaeilge, in a joint effort to give every child access to brilliant stories. For the first time next year, both Irish World Book Day €1.50/£1 titles will also be available in braille and digital formats, thanks to support from National Council for the Blind Ireland.
The simple fact of owning a book can hugely increase a child’s likelihood to read for fun, particularly when it is one that they have picked out themselves. More so than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income, reading for fun is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success. As a result of the World Book Day initiative, research found that 50% of children found reading more fun and 42% said they now make more time to read.
World Book Day works closely with partners including booksellers across Ireland and the UK, over 35 publishers, Children’s Books Ireland, Foras na Gaeilge, BookTrust, National Literacy Trust, Publishers Association, Booksellers Association and Libraries Connected.
Together, they aim to improve access and gift books to more isolated communities through a wide-reaching book-gifting programme. During its 25th birthday in 2022, booksellers and publishers gifted two million €1.50/£1 books through World Book Day via local charity partners. Thanks to support from An Post, 14,000 of these were distributed to children in Irish hospitals, direct provision, homelessness services and Travelling communities.
In 2023, World Book Day will look to build on this and reach more children than ever – especially those from harder to reach communities and disadvantaged backgrounds. An extensive programme of activities to encourage and support reading will take place with authors, illustrators, publishers, retailers and partners.
'World Book Day is already a key fixture in schools’ calendars as a celebration of books and reading. What we want to see in 2023 is a much broader reach so that every child is included in the celebrations. This World Book Day will be a shared celebration of the pleasure of reading a brilliant book, and the joy that that can give young readers.’ – Elaina Ryan, CEO Children's Books Ireland
Cassie Chadderton, CEO, World Book Day added: ‘Our aim as a charity is to encourage all children to love reading, see themselves as readers and ultimately, improve their life chances.
'This is even more important at a time when the cost of living crisis is set to damage access to books and reading for thousands of children. The announcement of our £1/€1.50 World Book Day books is always an exciting moment and we’re proud to present these books for 2023 from a wonderful range of authors and illustrators.’
Seán Ó Coinn, CEO, Foras na Gaeilge said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting World Book Day Ireland with the inclusion of an Irish language book for the second year in a row. We will be including even more Irish language materials and resources for World Book Day 2023, including the development of bilingual information packs and book tokens for schools, as well as the inclusion of free Irish language audiobooks from An Gúm, Foras na Gaeilge’s in-house publisher.
'We are thrilled that the Irish language will be at the heart of the campaign in Ireland, on the World Book Day Ireland website, across social media channels and that the Irish language title, Rita agus An Dragún will be available in braille & digital formats for the first time ever in 2023, thanks to our friends at NCBI.’
Hazel Tree Farm: One Stormy Night by Alma Jordan, illustrated by Margaret Anne Suggs and published by The O’Brien Press
It’s the beginning of a new year on Hazel Tree Farm, and with it comes a burst of new life. Peter helps Dad to bring baby lambs into the world, while his sister Kate falls in love with next door's fluffy chicks – and one in particular! But something is wrong with sheepdog Peg, and one stormy night, she runs away. Through wind and rain, the children race to find her before it’s too late.
Rita agus an Dragún by Máire Zepf, illustrated by Mr Ando (Andrew Whitson) published by An tSnáthaid Mhór
Is cailín beag í Rita a bhfuil smaointe móra aici. Nuair a éiríonn sí crosta, samhlaíonn sí go bhfuil dragún fíochmhar feargach aici a chuirfeadh an domhan ar crith. Ach is féidir tine the na feirge a cheansú, agus tá a fhios ag Rita cén dóigh lena dhéanamh.
Rita is a little girl with big ideas. When she becomes cross, she imagines she has a ferocious angry dragon who would make the world shudder. But the hot fire of anger can be tamed, and Rita knows how.