World Book Day is here!

1 Mar 2012

Thursday, 1 March, is not only St David’s Day but also World Book Day, the biggest annual celebration of books and reading in the UK and Ireland. The Welsh Books Council has been encouraging everyone to take part, from libraries, local education authorities, public bodies and corporate organisations to the press and media.

This year, the Welsh Books Council’s World Book Day Flagship Events, which took place last week with 2,000 school children present, kicked off the celebrations. Pupils from various Reading Communities in Wales saw a book come to life on stage. They enjoyed a comedy theatrical production based on  The Troublesome Tudors and Sleazy Stuarts  by Catrin Stevens, a book in the Wicked Wales series, in the magical settings of Caerphilly Castle Banqueting Hall in the south and Nant Gwrtheyrn on the Llŷn Peninsula in the north.

The events were supported by Waterstones, who contributed the proceeds from the 5p carrier bag levy to support the World Book Day events. Will Williams of Waterstones said: "It was great to be involved in such an inspiring campaign. We wanted the funds raised from the levy to be put to good use, and it was wonderful that they helped to bring books to life for thousands of children, as well as helping the environment."

The Welsh Books Council also held a World Book Day Animation Competition for schools across Wales and this week the winners in the primary and secondary schools categories, together with their fellow-pupils and friends, will attend real-life première viewings of their films. More than 600 stories were received in the competition; the winner of the secondary school category was Elin Siân Hughes, a GCSE student at Ysgol y Gader, Dolgellau, and Reuben Wallace, a pupil at Cross Ash School, Abergavenny, was the winner of the primary schools category.

Turnip Starfish, a company of professional animators, held workshops with both winners and their classmates to bring their animation to life; this week, the films will be shown for the first time at a special première held at both schools, organised by the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales.

Elwyn Jones, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, said: "The main aim of World Book Day is to encourage people to explore the pleasure gained from books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to take part in various activities. Events are being held all over Wales  – at schools, universities and colleges, libraries and community centres – and we hope that there will be an opportunity for everyone to join in the festivities."

For more information on the many varied and interesting activities, workshops and events taking place in your area and all across Wales, please go to: http://bit.ly/worldbookday.

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