We are utterly delighted on this World Book Day to host a guest blog post by Joseph Coelho, author of one of this year’s £1 WBD books, ‘Luna Loves World Book Day’.
Over the years I have had the pleasure of visiting schools during World Book Day (WBD). Initially as a creative writing practitioner and performance poet and then (after twelve long years trying to get published!) as a visiting author. I’ve lost count of the numbers of Wizards, Wallys (as in Where’s Wally) and Witches I’ve seen smiling in assembly halls and giggling in classrooms. World Book Day is a special time to celebrate literature and those characters that have moved us and of course to dress up. And when dressing up isn’t an option it’s been wonderful to see the creativity that teachers and parents draw upon to engage young people with books from dressing up spoons and potatoes to designing books covers.
When I heard that Luna was going to have her own WBD title I was over the moon it is literally a dream come true not only because Luna will be a big part of the day’s celebrations but also because she will get to be the first book that many children will own. As a kid who didn’t grow up in a house heaving with books, I can well appreciate the power and the magic that owning your own book(s) can have. So with all this in mind I wanted to make Luna Loves World Book Day a real celebration of WBD showing all the different ways that children celebrate from dressing up, to decorating potatoes to meeting an author and illustrator and hearing their stories. I knew whilst writing the story that illustrator Fiona Lumbers would do wonders creating a world of costumes for the children and showing visually the impact that an author and illustrator visit to a school can have when “Their words and pictures vibrate around the hall.”
Fiona and I have been very fortunate in having done quite a few live events together now sharing our first Luna title Luna Loves Library Day so there was a lot of good memories to draw upon when thinking about the impact that live visits can have. I was delighted when Fiona chose to illustrate us in a school hall sharing our stories as it brought home the emotional connection that we have with this special day, a connection that I think all adults feel when dreaming up ways to engage young people with literature, and revelling in the excuse to dress up as the Cat in The Hat or Peter Pan.
Our first title Luna Loves Library Day really began as a love letter to libraries showing the magic and the emotional store that books provide. With Luna Loves World Book Day it’s been a real treat to join in with the 4th March Celebrations and show Luna continuing her passion for books and reading and also to demonstrate how books go beyond simply being tools that are “good” for children but rather are portable worlds to be enjoyed by families as a whole coming together to read and engage with the power of the written word.
Take a peek inside the book here.
Lots of Luna activities here.
Check out the other ‘Luna Loves…’ books (click cover for link):