WBD is a brilliant initiative designed to get as many kids as possible into books and reading. Schools all over the UK and Ireland have tokens to give out to pupils that entitle them to a free copy of any one of the eight special World Book Day books, or to £1 off any book that takes their fancy in participating bookshops. Visit www.worldbookday.com to find your nearest bookshop, and check those schoolbags if the voucher hasn’t made it home yet!

There’s something for everyone among the eight special books. There’s a Giles Andreae activity book and an Alfie adventure for little ones and Horrid Henry fun for 5-8s. Anthony Horowitz and Lauren Child contribute great detective capers for 8-12s and rising star Liz Pichon has a new Tom Gates adventure for the same age-range. There’s a lovely Cathy Cassidy novel for older girls, and a Tony Robinson non-fiction title for kids who’re into ‘finding out about stuff’.

The brilliant thing about World Book Day is that it puts the spending power into kids’ hands – who doesn’t like to have a voucher to spend? If you’ve got a reluctant reader on your hands, make the shopping trip an event, perhaps with a treat from the bookshop café afterwards and the chance to buy another book or two as well. If you can, take along friends or siblings with their vouchers so everyone can choose something different and swap later. Most of the books in the selection are part of series, so check out which have gone down well and buy more of the series, or borrow the lot from the library.

Authors are brilliant ambassadors for books and reading, so make sure you check out the webstream of the Biggest Bookshow on Earth via the World Book Day site – it’s available live and on an ongoing basis thereafter.

What if you have a dyslexic child or struggling reader?

The World Book Day books are short and so ideal for reading together. There’s no ‘right time’ to stop reading to your child, so snuggle up on the couch with the chosen book and read it to them, or, if they’re reading a little alone, take it in turns to read sections. Don’t push children who’re struggling too far or you’ll risk putting them off reading even more – signs like rubbing eyes or grumpiness mean it’s time to stop.

Just as the love of books doesn’t end with midnight on World Book Day, awareness of and provision for dyslexic children shouldn’t be confined to Dyslexia Awareness Week or special one-off projects and publications. Here at Barrington Stoke we publish nothing but dyslexia-friendly fiction, but here’s a secret – while standard fiction may not be accessible to dyslexic children, dyslexia-friendly fiction can be enjoyed by anyone. If you think your child will never get into reading, please do drop us a line or give us a call – we’re with World Book Day in believing that reading is for everyone, and we’d love to help.

Mairi Kidd

Barrington Stoke