Next month will see the annual appearance of one of my favourite days of the year. A special day when in playgrounds across the country you can see Gangsta Granny playing football with Harry Potter, Willy Wonka laughing with Angelina Ballerina and The Hungry Caterpillar chasing the Gruffalo. Yes, 1st March is World Book Day, so it’s time to get out the egg cartons, the sticky tape and grandpa’s old shirt and start conjuring up those costumes!
The concept behind World Book Day is to promote and encourage a love of reading. But this doesn’t have to mean ‘stories’. As a Primary Teacher in my previous life, I found many pupils in my class would opt to read non-fiction books; football annuals, How to care for your pet guinea pig, The Guinness book of records. The joy children get from a non-fiction text is all the rich information they come away with, the treasure trove of ‘did you know’ facts that they find fascinating. It’s the love of learning things without being taught. The independent education about the world around them. A little boy with Asperger’s had a ritual of reading me a new fact from his book every morning when he entered the classroom. He was so thrilled to know something that his teacher didn’t and be able to impart this wisdom. And I was equally as thrilled to see the joy that reading was bringing to him.
It cemented my belief that books truly are a wonderful tool for learning, whether children are getting lost in this world or some other.