World Book Day 2021

This week 30 million children will receive a token to spend on a special book as part of World Book Day. 

World Book Day changes lives through a love of books and shared reading. Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. Almost 15% of children do not own their own book before they are gifted a £1 World Book Day book. (Source: OECD) 

Spending just ten minutes a day reading with a child can help them discover the joy of reading for pleasure. Each child, who receives a token in the UK and Ireland, can choose to spend their token on one of these brilliant books for free or get £1 off another book (with £2.99 or more). 2021s-1-books ( 

Hampshire Libraries will be placing World Book Day tokens in children’s Ready Reads and offering them to children who come to collect reservations from their local library this week.  

We’ll also be supporting the time-honoured tradition of dressing up as your favourite book character – so see who you can recognise as our teams share their photos on our social media accounts this week!  

World Book Day also marks the start of the 200 Million Minute Reading Challenge. The challenge, which runs until Children’s Book Day on 31 March, calls on everyone to log their reading time to reach the target of 200 million minutes read in the month of March.  

Why not use World Book Day and the 200 Million Minute Reading Challenge to develop a habit of reading at home. We have an extensive digital library of children’s books and magazines Digital library | Hampshire County Council ( that can be borrowed for free and read on a mobile device. Whilst libraries are shut you can also use our Ready Reads, we select you collect, service to request loans of children’s books. Ready Reads is included in your library membership and you can sign-up here. Ready Reads: we select, you collect | Hampshire County Council ( 

We have also produced some videos (available on YouTube) to give you some guidance on our Ready Reads service (96) Ready Reads: We Select, You Collect – YouTube and offer advice on sharing a book with a child. (96) Sharing a Book – YouTube 

World Book Day 2020

This is the 23rd year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 5 March 2020, children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. Very loudly and very happily. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.

15 million children (under the age of 18) will be given a £1 voucher to purchase one of the 2020 World Book Day books at participating book sellers. And we are delighted to announce that a set of all 12 books from the 2020 list will be available to loan in libraries across Hampshire from the 5 March 2020.

Here are the World Book Day Books that you will be able to borrow:

World Book Day 2019

World Book Day is back! Taking place on Thursday 7 March,  providing children and young people with the opportunity to purchase their own book using a £1 World book day token. Here are the 10 books available for children and young people to choose from.

How does World Book Day Work?

Millions of book tokens are sent to children and young people across the UK, where children and young people can take their book token to a local book seller and use it to choose out of the selected books which are new and exclusive!

Or if they would rather children and young people can use their token to get £1 off any book or audio book costing over £2.99 at participating bookshops.

Other ways to celebrate World Book Day

Share the celebration on social media using the hashtag #WorldBookDay. Read with the family, whether its new or old books, recreate stories and go on adventures, dress up or write down ideas for new stories and make sure to visit your local library for more World Book Day celebrations!

These books are perfect to read together, and available from Hampshire Libraries!

by Oliver Jeffers
Floyd gets his kite stuck up a tree. He throws up his shoe to shift it, but that gets stuck too. So he throws up his other shoe and that gets stuck, along with a ladder, a pot of paint, the kitchen sink, an orang-utan and a whale, amongst other things! Will Floyd ever get his kite back?

The book with no pictures
by B.J. Novak
You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except, here’s how books work. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say ‘blork’ or ‘bluurf’. Even if the words are a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like ‘blaggity blaggity’ and ‘glibbity globbity’.

We’re going on a bear hunt
retold by Michael Rosen
We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one. Will you come too? For a quarter of a century, readers have been swishy-swashying and splash-sploshing through this award-winning favourite. Follow and join in the family’s excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of a bear. What a surprise awaits them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest!

Oi Frog!
by Kes Gray
This is a tale about a frog who discovers that all animals have their special places to sit! Cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, mules sit on stools and gofers sit on sofas, but Frog does not want to sit on a log! Jam-packed with animals and silliness, this original story will have young children in fits of laughter.

Happy times in Noisy Village
by Astrid Lindgren
In the middle of the countryside, there are three farms, all in a row, where Lisa, her two brothers, and their friends live. There’s never a quiet day for the children of Noisy Village!

You’re a bad man, Mr Gum!
by Andy Stanton
Mr Gum is a truly nasty old man. He’s absolutely grim. But this book’s not just about him. There’s also a little girl called Polly, an evil butcher, heroes and sweets and stuff, and Jake the dog, who must be saved from terrible, terrible evil.

How to train your dragon
by Cressida Cowell
Hiccup Haddock Horrendous III was a truly extraordinary Viking hero. The warrior chieftain and awesome sword fighter was known as ‘the Dragon Whisperer’, on account of his power over these terrifying beasts. But it wasn’t always like that, and this is the story of his rise to fame, in his own words.

The 13-storey treehouse
by Andy Griffiths
Andy and Terry live in the world’s best treehouse! It’s got a giant catapult, a secret underground laboratory, a tank of man-eating sharks and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you’re hungry! Just watch out for the sea monkeys, and the monkeys pretending to be sea monkeys, and the giant mutant mermaid sea monster – oh, and, whatever you do, don’t get trapped in a burp-gas-filled bubble!

Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone
by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter lives in a cupboard under the stairs at his Aunt and Uncle’s house. He is bullied by them and his spoilt cousin, and lives a very unremarkable life. But then Harry is transported to a world of magic and excitement.

The crooked sixpence
by Jennifer Bell
When their grandmother Sylvie is rushed to hospital, Ivy Sparrow and her annoying big brother Seb cannot imagine what adventure lies in store. Returning to Sylvie’s house, they find it has been ransacked by unknown intruders – before a mysterious feather scratches an ominous message onto the kitchen wall. A very strange policeman turns up on the scene, determined to apprehend them . . . with a toilet brush. Ivy and Seb make their escape – only to find themselves in a completely uncommon world, where ordinary objects have amazing powers. The forces of evil are closing in fast, and Ivy and Seb must get to the bottom of a family secret . . . before it’s too late.

The giver
by Lois Lowry
It’s a perfect world, where everything looks right. But ugly truths lie beneath. In a future society, life appears civilised and ordered. But when 12-year-old Jonas is given the job of ‘Receiver of Memories’ he realises the horrible truth that lies behind the perfect façade.

What’s your favourite book to read together? Tell us in the comments below!