World Book Day 2014

It's World Book Day tomorrow and this year my boys have escaped the mad rush to find an awesome costume. Their school have decided to have a Mad Hatter's Day on which the children are allowed to wear a hat for the day. It can be a baseball cap, a trilby or some wonderful creation they have made at home. The letter for it came out last week, LAST WEEK! It's a good job it wasn't a letter saying my boys could dress up as a character or I'd be well and truly stuck. Anyway, I digress...

Both BP and LP's favourite at one time.

World Book Day got me thinking about all the different books I've read, both as an adult and a child, and the kinds of messages they sent. I've always loved reading and although there doesn't seem enough time in the day anymore I still love a good book. Some that top my favourites list are Society of the Mind by Eric. L. Harry, Chart Throb by Ben Elton and The BFG by Roahl Dahl. The first two I read as an adult and The BFG is my all-time favourite children's book.

I first read The BFG when I was about nine years old and it taught me a lot about judgement. Being a quiet and shy girl I didn't have many friends, I wasn't a pretty girl either and often got picked on and so I began to hate my fellow students. I would judge them based on my experience of being bullied and figured they would always be that kind of person; mean, rude and violent. When I read The BFG I dreamed that a Giant would come and whisk me away just like the little girl in the book. I wished for a friend who would take care of me. Not realising its message at the time I thought The BFG was a simple story about a giant. What it was really saying was that we shouldn't be judgemental of people just because they're different.

Other children's books I've read include The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. Admittedly that last one I only read to my four-year-old but he tells me it's one of his favourites too.

As I'm attempting to write a novel myself I really respect the writers that manage to pen a children's book. These stories are not just tales, they usually send a clear message about growing up. Whether it's Cinderella or Nancy Drew, Prince Charming or James (you know, with that giant peach) these characters stay with us because they embody our dreams but also teach us how to be better people. I grew up reading all their stories and dreamed that some of their tales may one day come true for me. They ignited my imagination and took me on wild adventures that I wouldn't have otherwise been on. I still love taking those adventures today, although my adult adventures are a little more racy on occasion.

I don't ever remember having a World Book Day when I was growing up. It may have just passed me by in a haze, not one of the things I can recall from childhood, but I think it's a fantastic idea to celebrate the books we all love. Dressing up as a character from a book is a wonderful way of showing our appreciation to the author that created these awesome people. I'm not sure who I'd want to dress up as most Cinderella or Cat in the Hat?

Do you have a story you fell in love with as a child? 
What books do you love to read these days?

Any recommendations for awesome books are very welcome!


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