What is World Book Day?

clock Monday, February 16, 2015 at 10:28AM

World Book Day, which will take place on 5th March 2015, is a day designed to celebrate the wonderful world of books, writers and imaginations! It’s an annual event that celebrates the joy and pleasure of losing yourself in a good book, exploring other worlds and finding out about the world you live in, all from the comfort of your home or classroom…or wherever your children love to read.

World Book Day has been running for an impressive 18 years now, and has become the biggest celebration of its kind. The day has been officially designated as a global celebration of books and reading by UNESCO and it’s celebrated in over 100 countries worldwide.

The main focus of World Book day is to get children of all ages to discover the joys of reading, if they haven’t already. In the UK, kids are encouraged to really explore the pleasures of books, and many schools like to make a big party of the day, giving out book tokens and free books, and encouraging children to dress up as their favourite book characters and really get into the party spirit.

There are events running all over the country; you can see if there’s anything in your area by going to the official World Book Day website and searching for something near you.

The events are supported in the UK and Ireland by sponsors like National Book Tokens Ltd, publishers and booksellers, which means that millions of book vouchers get sent out to children across the UK, last year over 14 million were sent out in total, which means there was something for every child under the age of 18.

The vouchers can be used to buy one of a selection of specially chosen books  for just £1 –  and there’s a selection for nursery school age children, junior and secondary so that nobody misses out.

If your child is a fussy reader and  doesn’t want one of the books on offer, children are also able to use their vouchers to get money off of books and audio books at participating bookshops.

The idea is to get children to explore the books they already love in more detail, talk about their favourite books and introduce them to authors, stories, genres and subjects they might not have come across before, and basically just get children reading!

Book Day Costume Ideas

clock Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 04:16PM

We love to encourage our kids to lose themselves in the fantasy world of a good book, and every year we have World Book Day to remind us of just how vivid our kids’ imaginations can actually be!

It can be tricky to come up with something original, and for any of us who aren’t craft-minded or handy with a dressing up box, the annual stress of finding a costume that’s not going to break the bank OR get your child bullied is easily resolved by a trip to a costume emporium like All Fancy Dress.

You can always start by having a look around the kids’ bedrooms to see what might already be lurking in the dressing up box, and can be adapted or added to. Have you got the makings of a witch costume – well with a few tweaks you can turn your offspring into a Worst Witch or The Room on the Broom. If you have a tutu hanging around, with a little imagination you can make an Angelina Ballerina.  Even school uniforms can be upgraded with some choice accessories to make a St Trinians or Hogwarts costume.

It’s surprisingly affordable to hire a costume for World Book Day if you don’t have anything immediately to hand. If your children were totally obsessed with all thinks Hogwarts and cried when Dobby the House Elf died, try a Harry Potter themed Book Day costume;  you could create a fantastic Harry or Hermione with a costume from All Fancy Dress.

If your little darlings are complete bookworms and love their literature, they might enjoy thinking outside of the dressing up box and dressing as Juliet, or Oliver Twist, bound to get all their classmates wondering which book they are dressing up as. It could even stimulate a bit of interest in the more classic tales, instead of the usual kid’s favourites that pop up every year.

If Roald Dahl is constantly on the bedtime reading list in your house, why not opt for a Willy Wonka or Fantastic Mr Fox costume – every child loves a bit of Roald Dahl. There’s hours of fun to be had with a ‘Where’s Wally’ outfit too…

If you can’t get your unruly boys to sit down long enough to read a book, have a bit of fun with a Dennis the Menace or Horrid Henry costume, they’ll enjoy being able to play up to their namesakes and blame it on Book Day.

Whatever your children want to ‘be’ for book day – have fun!

2014: A Year in Google searches

clock Monday, January 5, 2015 at 10:45AM


How do you measure a year?

12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8760 hours, 525600 minutes?

How about Google searches?

Below are a list of the most popular Google trends of 2014. These are the things that shaped our year into what it was, the losses, the victories, the charity, the competition and the game that got everyone a little too addicted.


Top trending searches:

1. Robin Williams

On August 11th 2014 news broke that Robin Williams had taken his own life after struggling with depression for many years. Hugely admired and loved the world over, Williams left a legacy in movies, comedy and kindness.

During his lifetime not only did he give us some of our favourite characters in Mrs Doubtfire and Genie in Aladdin, but he performed to over 100,000 troops in fighting abroad and raised millions of dollars for charity.


2. World Cup

The 2014 World Cup, hosted by Brazil, came to its climax on 13th July when Germany took on Argentina for the title, Germany leaving victorious with the world cup in hand after a 1-0 win.

The competition gave us the all-time highest-scoring semi-final, with Germany beating the hosts 7-1.

With 64 games, 171 goals and over 2.2 billion Google searches, 'world cup 2014' was the third-highest searched in 2014 and the most searched sporting event in history.



Ebola fever

An infectious and generally fatal disease marked by fever and severe internal bleeding, spread through contact with infected body fluids by a filovirus ( Ebola virus), whose normal host species is unknown.

The first cases of Ebola were reported in Guinea back in March and quickly began to spread to neighbouring countries, but it wasn’t until cases hit outside of Africa in August that searches began to hit a global scale.

Early in November, The World Health Organisation announced the formal trial of a Canadian experimental vaccine, which cured two Ebola patients in the US. 


4. Malaysia Airlines

On 8th March this year Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 lost contact with ground control 1 hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur. After 5 hours without contact the aircraft was reported missing.

The search for the flight has been expanded to cover 60,000km2 with conspiracy theories running wild after another Malaysia Airlines Flight, MH17, was struck down by a missile over Ukraine in June.

9 months on the search continues, with ever growing support and prayers around the world.



5. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disorder that damages nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. In August over $100 million was raised for the ALS Association and related charities, with celebrities from David Beckham to Oprah Winfrey taking part and donating. 


6. Flappy Bird

Developed in Vietnam by Dong Nguyen, Flappy Birs started gaining popularity peaked in February, at which point the developer took the game off of the market after worrying about its over addictive nature. Phones with the original game on them sold for thousands online, while dozens of copy cat versions appeared on the Android and Apple stores, such as Happy Bird, Floppy Bird, Clumsy Bird and Flappy Fish. 


7. Conchita Wurst

May bought us the 59th Eurovision Song Contest. 37 countries participated in the competition held in Copenhagen but the winner this year came from Austria.

Conchita Wurst stole the show and left us all talking after her performance of Rise Like a Phoenix. Often refered to as the bearded lady, She has become an LGBT Icon.

She has been quoted saying "The beard is a statement to say that you can achieve anything, no matter who you are or how you look." And since winning Eurovision, album and concert ticket sales soared.