How to celebrate World Book Day this year

Share the magic of reading with your family this 4 March with £1 books, author Q+As, webinars and more.

An illustration of people gathered around big books, reading.
Image: Getty

Though much has changed about our world in 2021, the aims of World Book Day remain the same: to help foster a love of reading far and wide by ensuring that every child and family has access to books.

This year, Covid-19 has widened the economic and educational gap, making World Book Day more significant than ever. Not only has reading provided a crucial escape during the pandemic, but studies show that spending just 10 minutes a day reading with children makes a significant difference to their future success.

In anticipation of this year’s celebration on 4 March 2021, a wide range of book are being made available for £1 to families across the UK and Ireland, in hopes that everyone will have a chance to spend some time discovering the magic of reading and sharing a memorable moment with loved ones.

Also, Penguin and Puffin will be celebrating by making several festivities available online and from home, so that every child and family can take part. Here are just a few of the events and programmes taking place.

£1 Books

See all the wonderful books available for just a single pound ahead of the big day below! And for information on how to get your book, check out the official World Book Day website

Download free activity sheets and games

There are some incredible resources available for free this year, from coluring and cooking guides to extracts and teaching prompts – all based around books and aimed at age groups ranging from nursery to secondary. To sort out your World Book Day at home, just visit the World Book Day website and get downloading!

World Book Day Author & Illustrator Academy

Want to learn new skills and have fun at the same time? Check out these fascinating tutorial videos from World Book Day £1 Book authors and illustrators.

Tom Fletcher online masterclass

Watch and learn with Tom Fletcher as he shares how he was inspired to create books that are fun and interactive, and how he brings his stories to life. Tom challenges you to think about how your reader can be involved in your stories – and to create your very own Who’s In Your Book? series character.

Humza Arshad and Henry White online masterclass

Join Humza Arshad and Henry White, the co-authors of the Little Bad Man series. Here they share the importance of not making judgements before you embark on a new adventure, and find out just how you can be inspired by a radioactive samosa


Share a Story Live programme

All Share a Story Live events will premiere on the World Book Day YouTube channel and remain available from the World Book Day website afterwards. Each event runs between 20-25 minutes. Not to be missed!

Words and pictures – bringing reading to life (4+ yrs) 

4 March 2021 – 10.30am 

Starring authors: Lydia Monks, Tom Fletcher, Joseph Coelho, and Fiona Lumbers 

Hosted by: Nigel Clarke 

Children will meet Luna with Joseph Coelho and Fiona Lumbers, learn how to draw a ladybird with Lydia Monks, and take part in a sing-along with Tom Fletcher as he explores the power of interactive reading. Expect a storytime break and a drawing session with World Book Day illustrator Rob Biddulph, and all authors will answer readers’ questions. 

Books that make us LOL (6+ yrs) 

3 March 2021 – 10.30am 

Starring authors: Jonny Duddle, Zanib Mian, Humza Arshad, as well as Football School authors Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton. 

Hosted by: Kenny Baraka 

Find out how to be a Little Badman with Humza Arshad, draw a Gigantosaur with Jonny Duddle, and write brilliant characters with Zanib Mian, and expect keepie-uppie fun from Football School authors Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton. There will be a storytime break and all authors will answer readers’ questions. 

How reading helps us understand the real world (9+ yrs) 

5 March 2021 – 10.30am 

Starring authors: Jess French, Sita Brahmachari, Katherine Rundell 

Hosted by: Jessie Cave 

Katherine Rundell will encourage us to chase our hopes and dreams, Jess French has advice on how to save the planet, and Sita Brahmachari will lead a writing workshop. There will be a storytime break and all authors will answer readers’ questions. 


Puffin author webinars

Looking to bring some bookish magic to your class and inspire your pupils with tales of adventure, mystery and magic? Well then, Puffin Schools’ Meet an author is for you!

This Spring, schools across the country can book a virtual visit from a real life author. Taking place over Zoom, each 45-minute webinar session will include a live presentation by an author giving pupils a behind-the-scenes look at their books, characters and writing process. Pupils will also be treated to an activity and the chance to have their questions answered – live!

Click on the links below to find out more about each author’s virtual visit and to register:

Looking for more ways to entertain littles ones? Read 7 Ways to Celebrate World Book Day at Home from our Puffin team.

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more