Your child’s World Book Day costume could change a life – By Emma Taylor

Your child’s World Book Day costume could change a life

Every year people around the world come together to celebrate the power of reading on World Book Day. Here in the UK, children receive free books and schools hold all sorts of events – from making their own stories to being visited by an author.

But around the world, millions of children can’t join in the celebrations because they don’t have books. At home, poverty prevents families from buying books, in schools children often share an old textbook between over a dozen pupils and even public libraries have only a few out of date books. Many children have never even seen a children’s book before.

Our team here at Book Aid International believes that everyone, but especially children, has the right to access to books. Every year, we send around one million brand new, carefully selected books to libraries, schools, Universities, refugee camps, prisons and hospitals around the world.

On World Book Day, schools and families across the UK join us in our mission, donating £1 and dressing up as their favourite book character, holding fundraising events or marking the day with a donation so that more children around the world have the books they need. Last year, families and schools raised an astonishing £140,000.

Every year, the books we send are read by an estimated 25 million people– and last year, three of those readers were Kenyan dad Alfred and his two sons.

Alfred and his sons with their favourite books

‘Nothing in the world can give an education apart from reading’

Even though he has a good job as a teacher, books are luxuries Alfred can rarely afford – yet he knows that books are important for his children’s educations.

“I am a teacher and also a farmer. The food I grow on the farm enables me to have food for my family. My wife is a farmer too. She also sells items at the market. Her small business keeps us going. If I was told I had to buy some books for my children, I would struggle. But books are to prepare the child for future life. Books are very important.”

Alfred’s children have books in their school thanks to our Inspiring Readers programme which creates school libraries. Like parents around the world, Alfred love to see his children coming home from school excited about learning – and he prioritises their education above all else:

“At my children’s school, we are seeing that the books have changed the lives of the children. You find them reading by themselves in the classroom –  they enjoy reading! My children, when they come home, they introduce us to the new books that they have learned in school. They tell us the stories. We really enjoy it. We feel there is something good happening at the school – and it’s because of the books they have there.

Our wish is to provide enough education for our children. We pray that we have enough resources to educate them. And the best education is provision of books. Because there is nothing in the world that can give an education apart from reading.”

Outdoor reading time at AIC Primary school where Alfred’s children study

Support parents on World Book Day

Alfred is just one of the millions of dads around the world whose children are reading books we’ve sent thanks to the generosity of families here in the UK.

With your support this World Book Day, we’ll be able to send more brand new, carefully selected books to more schools, libraries and refugee camps where too many children are still struggling to learn with only a few tattered textbooks. Getting involved is quick and easy.

Donate £1 when your child dresses up
To make dressing up as easy as possible, we’ve created 43 DIY, no-sew dress up guides, each of which comes with easy to follow templates. Many can be assembled without looking beyond your kitchen cupboard or wardrobes and even come with how-to videos.

With costume guides ranging from Tris from Divergent to Peter Rabbit to Mr Twit, there’s something for everyone!

Hold a fundraising event

From a book swap to a sponsored run or a book quiz, there are plenty of fun ways to fundraise for our work. Take a look:

Find out more

Looking for ideas for your local school or just to learn a bit more? Book Aid International has plenty of information available. Visit or contact the charity directly:, 020 7733 3577.

Emma Taylor

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