How you can celebrate a very 2021 World Book Day on Thursday 4 March!

World Book Day 2019

World Book Day is one of the highlights of our year at the National Literacy Trust! We love the annual celebration of authors, illustrators, books and the joy of reading.

While this year may be slightly different due to lockdown, we have plenty of ideas of how to celebrate a very 2021 World Book Day on 4 March. We have some amazing activities planned in our Hubs, schools programmes and with our corporate partners.

Reading for pleasure is at the heart of World Book Day. We know that making every day a book day can have significant impacts on children and young people’s wellbeing. Three in five (59.3%) children and young people told us during the first lockdown that reading makes them feel better. It shows just how important it is to encourage children to read for pleasure during these very turbulent times.

Enjoy £1 World Book Day books

It’ll be different this year, but the £1 books by popular authors are still available via retailers and supermarkets where these stores are permitted to be open. Schools have been invited to participate with details of printed and digital use tokens set out on the World Book Day site. You can see all of this year’s brilliant titles here.

Our Virtual School Library, in partnership with Oak Academy, will have a World Book Day theme from 1 March – be sure to take a look, there are some exciting surprises in store.


Local events may be taking place that your school can get involved in. Contact your school library service, public library or local bookshop to find out what is being planned.

The World Book Day website has details of how to join in with live events as well as recorded online classes.

While we can’t give too much away, we suggest families and educators keep a close eye on our national Facebook page for some very exciting events on the day itself!

Are you a practitioner looking for some prompts?

The famous dress up events in schools will be different this year, but you could still encourage children to wear a hat, badge, or costume for your online live lessons, and ask them to ‘show and tell’ with their favourite reading material

Like a challenge? Work with teachers from other classes, reading books or extracts for their pupils, but in disguise! Can they name the book and/or the teacher? (Remember to check publishers’ copyright restrictions for sharing books.)

Or how about creating a quiz based on any class books you’ve shared this school year? Whatever the book, questions about minor characters, locations, animals that appear in the story could get pupils scratching their heads!

Try these resources to help develop a love of reading among your class:

  • Virtual School Library – we’ll be featuring a special World Book Day author from 1 March, including a free book. Take a look here
  • Young Readers Story Club – themed tales read by authors and storytellers, including activities to try out. Discover more
  • Supporting early years children to tell stories. Enjoy this resource here
  • Are you looking for some brilliant ideas to encourage reading for pleasure? Check out our resources
  • Would you like to create excitement around a new class book? More information here
  • Learn more about A River of Stories - Tales and Poems from Across the Commonwealth here

We also have premium resources available for those with a subscribed National Literacy Trust membership:

  • Whole-school reading recommendations posters to encourage reading for pleasure here
  • Developing a whole-school reading environment for primary schools - our resource can be found here
  • Developing a whole-school reading environment for secondary schools - our resource is on this page

Celebrating World Book Day at home

This year’s World Book Day theme is ‘share a story’. You can encourage your students to share a story with the people they live with. These could include getting grandparents or other family members to read stories over video chat; setting aside a family reading time when everyone at home all read their own books or magazines; building a cosy reading den with cushions in a corner, or a sheet draped over chairs to make a tent; read a story or chapter and then act it out together.

We hope you enjoy World Book Day 2021!