No.10 Downing Street has joined the celebrations for World Book Day 2020, hosting thirty school children from Southwark to help ‘Share a Million Stories’ and celebrate reading for pleasure. Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell and children from Charles Dickens Primary School in Southwark for the event this week.
Cressida Cowell talked with the children, aged seven and eight, about the power of imagination and reading, as well as the inspiration behind her best-known characters.
The Prime Minister sat with the children and joined in as Cressida Cowell led a ‘draw-along’ of Hiccup, the main character in her best-selling How to Train Your Dragon series.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “It was a pleasure to join Cressida Cowell and pupils from Charles Dickens Primary School in Downing Street, and see them bring to life characters from their favourite books.
“I encourage everyone to share a story with their family and friends to mark World Book Day.”
Cassie Chadderton, CEO of World Book Day said “It was great to see the Prime Minister Boris Johnson take part in this event and to hear his support for ‘Share A Million Stories’. Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success. As shared reading, for just 10 minutes a day, can have a long-lasting impact Share a Million Stories is at the heart of World Book Day’s work to change children’s lives by making reading for pleasure the habit of a lifetime.”
Stephen Lotinga, CEO of the Publishers Association and Chair of World Book Day said: “We are delighted that World Book Day’s message has received support from the highest level of government.
“World Book Day aims to get children and adults excited about reading and the children at the event were ecstatic to get to read and draw with Cressida Cowell and the Prime Minister. The Publishers Association, our members and World Book Day’s partners want to encourage all parents, carers and children to share a story.”
World Book Day’s mission is to encourage children and families to read and love books and for every child to have a book of their own. This year, to help kick-start new reading behaviours and make story sharing the habit of a lifetime, World Book Day is calling on the nation to Share a Million Stories – in schools, libraries, bookshops, at home, everywhere and anywhere – throughout World Book Day Month (27 February–29 March).
World Book Day reaches over 15 million children and young people with £1 book tokens distributed to over 45,000 educational establishments in the UK and Ireland.