International Book Giving Day began in 2012.
To get books into the hands of as many children as possible.
To share the love of books on 14th February, (known to some as Valentine?s Day I believe.)
Why? Reading is my absolute passion. Reading can change so much. Access to books opens doors, opens minds and creates new possibilities.
Reading is a form of escapism, a way into wonderful new worlds. Reading is a way of learning, discovering and igniting passions. Great books create great memories. Most of can indulge in our fond memories of those early picture books ? Where the Wild Things Are, The Hungry Caterpillar. How amazing was it to have the experiences of delving into those magical novels in later childhood ? the world of Narnia, the boarding school at Malory Towers, Charlotte?s Web, Harry Potter? Together they form a rich tapestry of wonderful literature. Every child deserves this opportunity. That?s why I, and the team behind IBGD, passionately believe that every child deserves books.
Since 2012 International Book Giving has grown exponentially. 2014 saw it being celebrated in over 24 countries. Books were left on the London Underground, in waiting rooms, in playgrounds. Books were gifted to hospitals, schools, libraries and playgroups. The successes were huge ? the Australian Children?s Laureate, Jackie French, delivered a special letter of support, all the children in Royal Melbourne?s Children?s Hospital were gifted a book by Scholastic AU. February 14th truly emerged as a day to share the love of books.
I?m absolutely over the moon with the support and enthusiasm International Book Giving Day has continued to receive. The huge news this year is that children?s illustrator Chris Haughton has designed the poster for 2015. Take a peek – it features a couple of familiar characters! I have been overwhelmed with the generosity of illustrators in helping me put together a plethora of goodies to help spread the word. Bookmarks and bookplates from the hands of Gus Gordon, Anna Walker and Angus Mckinnon have been designed exclusively for International Book Giving Day. They are free to download, print and tuck into the books you plan to gift on 14th February ? and they look wonderful!
However, it is on Social Media that I?m really and truly feeling the love of books. Just as well I?m happy spending time on Twitter. The support (#giveabook) has been truly awesome. As we get closer and closer to the big date I can really feel the excitement building. Once I?ve gifted my own stash of books, I know I?m going to be glued to the computer this weekend, full of admiration at everyone?s generosity.
Will you be taking part this year? Chocolates and roses? Pah! Gifting books is where it?s at!!
Emma Perry now lives in Bath, having recently said goodbye to Melbourne, Australia. She?s a freelance writer, reviewer, founder of My Book Corner and organiser of International Book Giving Day. She studied English Literature at Kent University and teaches at Primary Schools in her spare time.
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