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World Book Day and World Book Night get the Wow! factor

20 February 2012

World Book Day and Night are approaching fast. This year it's going to become more of an international set of events, and some it will be available online. It's a fantastic line-up.

For World Book Day on 1 March, the first part of the UK children's offer looks much as before, in that every child or young person under 18 gets a £1 voucher to redeem again any one of the eight books featured in the promotion. Then there's a free app which gives you access to free young adult stories from Malorie Blackman, Anthony Horowitz, Charlie Higson and Neil Gaiman. In addition to this there's The Storytelling Superstar Competition. Do you know someone who is simply brilliant at bringing your favourite books to life? Then why not enter them into the competition to find the UK's and Ireland's first Storytelling Superstar!

Best of all is The Biggest Book Show on Earth, Britain's first online children's book festival, offering youngsters from around the world the chance to watch online and submit questions to a starry line-up of authors and illustrators. It will feature authors including Jacqueline Wilson, Eoin Colfer, Cressida Cowell and UK Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson, plus illustrators Axel Scheffler, Lydia Monks and Nick Sharratt, and will be streamed live from London's Southbank.

"I'm so excited to be part of World Book Day's Biggest Show on Earth," said Julia Donaldson. "It's a fantastic way of bringing children together to meet some of the country's very best authors and illustrators. We can't wait to transport millions of children to exciting new worlds."

As if that wasn't enough, there are eight new Quick Reads to add to the 60 titles which have been published since 2006. The success of this programme in helping adults who have difficulty with reading has been phenomenal. There's also a Family Reading Break toolkit which can be downloaded from the site.

The excitement of World Book Night, now in its second year, is still to come, but not until 23 April. Set up to create something more international and intended to convey the excitement of books to adult readers, World Book Night is a celebration of reading and books which will see tens of thousands of people give away books within their communities to spread the joy and love of reading. Givers have been able to choose from 25 books.

In 2012 World Book Night goes properly international and will be celebrated in the UK, Ireland, Germany and USA.