World Book Day 2022: date, theme and how to celebrate

One of the most celebrated days in the reading calendar is World Book Day, this year, World Book Day will be on Thursday, 3rd March! An opportunity to share stories, introduce children to new books and host a wide range of book-based activities that can bring a buzz of excitement to any school.

In this blog, we discuss World Book Day 2022 and outline some ways that your school can celebrate it.

World Book Day 2022

What is World Book Day?

Set up by UNESCO on 23rd April 1995, the first World Book Day was celebrated in the UK and Ireland in 1997. Their mission is to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own. As a result of last year’s celebrations, 1 in 5 children receiving free school meals said that the book they purchased with their World Book Day token was the first book they had of their own. In addition, 70% of Primary schools said that World Book Day effectively fosters a reading for pleasure culture (World Book Day: Our Impact). A well-planned World Book Day is worth the investment with such an impact being made.

Group of children reading for world book day

How to get your school involved

Now in its 25th year, this year’s theme is ‘You are the reader‘. If you have not come up with a plan to celebrate the day, here are a few ideas from our librarians to get you going: 

Dressing up: While it is easy to ask children to come in dressed as book characters, this can sometimes result in a class full of princesses and superheroes, with little thought given to the books. It can also create unfair pressure on parents who cannot afford an outfit. Instead, ask children to make and wear, or bring, one item/accessory belonging to their favourite character. You can have some interesting discussions as they guess each other’s book. 

Get Creative: Use their imaginations and get crafting. Reimagine book covers or use a shoebox to create dioramas of a book scene. Make hats inspired by a character or create displays in a suitcase with props to hint at what the chosen book is about.  

Create Book Trailers: Using skills such as scriptwriting and scene making to recreate scenes from a book and turn them into a promotional video. These can even be recorded and shared with the school community. See some examples of book trailers created as part of the Juniper Book awards.

Reading Role Models: Encourage your staff to be reading role models, selecting odd moments to read a book and see if the pupils ‘catch’ them in the act. Invite parents, grandparents or other people from the community to share their reading experience. 

Author and Illustrator visits: The fee paid for a visit is a small price to pay for the valuable ongoing impact it has on the children. You can read the stories together before the event so they can make the most of it and ask well-thought-out questions. Follow up with a host of activities to keep the reading buzz going. 

Reading for pleasure in primary school

Available resources for your school

The World Book Day page is packed with exciting resources, from classroom activities to online author readings. When your school receives their book tokens, make sure that these are handed out so that every pupil has an opportunity to claim their free books. Putting good quality books into the hands of children is the key to reading success.

Despite the huge benefits of reading, spending on books is often an early casualty of difficult budget decisions. If you feel inspired to update your stock, our Education Resources team looks at some options for primary schools to help secure book funding.

Schools that benefit the most continue to promote a passion for stories throughout the year, World Book Day is just the starting point!


Sally Harrison, Education Resources Service Manager, explains the importance of reading, literacy and libraries in schools. Read more of her blogs and learn more about how to improve your school library and encourage reading for pleasure in your school.