To celebrate World Book Day, which has been going for 21 years now, I wanted to look back on some of the books I loved when I was younger.
World Book Day is an annual UK event that happens every March to celebrate reading. Many schools across the country take part by having group reading sessions and allowing pupils to go in dressed as book characters (an amazing idea, really). Children are also often given a World Book Day token so they can go and purchase one of a few selected books for £1.
I used to love getting a book for £1 each year and picking up something brand new to read. This year’s WBD got me thinking about the books I used to love as a child. Some of these were picture books that I enjoyed when I was really young, but others were short stories or novels that I wanted to re-read again and again because they captivated me so thoroughly. Here are just a few of my favourites.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
This book is a riot of colour and joy. It’s about a caterpillar whose hunger is so great that he has to keep eating and eating until he gets full. The book is interactive, with holes in each page, where the caterpillar has eaten his way through each piece of food. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is such a comforting story and I look back on it with great fondness as one of the first books I ever read. I used to love finding out what the caterpillar would eat next when I was young and this book still brings me a lot of happiness every time I see it. I hope young children continue reading it for years to come.
Six Dinner Sid
Six Dinner Sid is a book about a cunning cat, who goes to six different houses on the same street for dinner and plays six different personas. In one house he’s cute and loving, in another he’s a dramatic thespian. But the owners don’t know he’s getting six dinners every day; each of them think he’s their cat and theirs alone. I adored this book as a child because the plot was simple but so fun. Despite knowing what was going to happen after many re-reads, I always wanted Sid to get away with it. In fact, I loved this book so much that I was devastated when I found out two years ago that my parents had (accidentally) got rid of my original copy in a clear out. I was so devastated that I asked them to buy me a new copy next Christmas. And they did.
The Harry Potter series
The first two Harry Potter books hold a special place in my heart because I started off reading them when I was quite young, and my Dad would read them to me before bed. Then time passed; we got through the first book and began the second, and as I got slightly older I began to do more of the reading aloud. So we went from my dad doing the reading and me falling asleep in bed, to me reading to him and him falling asleep in the bed-side chair. So not only did I grow up with the Harry Potter series, but my reading abilities progressed with them too.
I discovered this book in the library by chance when I was quite young, and it’s one of the first books I can remember that got me into YA. Winging It is about a young girl, Mel, who dies (not technically a spoiler, it happens in the first chapter and tells you in the blurb) and gets sent to Angel Academy to train to become a fully fledged angel. The series was light-hearted with dramatic moments, and was a completely different style of writing to anything I’d read before. I think my enjoyment of this book probably fuelled my love of YA in the years to come.
What are some of the books you enjoyed as a child? Have you ever dressed up or cosplayed for World Book Day before? If you got the chance to, which character would you dress as?