World Book Day 2012

A Chairde, we are delighted to be celebrating the 15th World Book Day in Ireland on Thursday 1st March 2012. Over the last 14 years World Book Day has become firmly established as Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. The main aim is to encourage children to explore the pleasure of books and reading by providing them with an opportunity to have a book of their own. This may sound like a very simple idea, but the unfortunately, many children do not have access to books in their homes.
World Book Day Ireland

In our opinion one of best initiatives on the planet, World Book Day comes around once a year encouraging everyone, young and old, to pick up a book and have a bit of a read!

Of course the focus is primarily on Children, who can avail of the fantastic offers in all book shops where many books on promotion are sold for next to nothing!! So there is literally (ooo..get it?) no excuse to be without a book to read on March 1st!

The World Book Day Website is pretty fantastic with loads of information about books on offer and events around the world. You can check out the Irish section of the website to get more information about offers and events closer to home.

What is a book these days?

So while I was thinking back to the days in primary school when I received a £1 voucher to purchase a book on World Book Day I realised that things have changed dramatically over the past few years. A lot of us have converted to new ways of reading. No longer are we bound to ink and paper, instead there is a huge push for more digital and even interactive formats for literature.

The Kindle and iPad have really changed the game, the former offering an endless library of books that weighs no more than a cup of tea, while the latter not only offers words and images but the chance to interact with the story and “experience” more than what your imagination can offer.

Take this interactive story that was recently released on iPad as an example. “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” by former Pixar animator William Joyce who now works with Moonbot Studios not only offers younger readers the chance to read and see the story like we all did with our favourite childrens picture books, they can now influence the world of the story and interact with the characters.
Is this a good thing? Does it take away from the power of a young reader’s imagination and ask them to only look at another’s?
Have a look and see for yourself…

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore iPad App Trailer from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

Check out more info here

Designing interactive interfaces for kids is no mean feat, and the Moonbot team really made some great choices with “Morris Lessmore.” When you open up the app, it doesn’t waste your time with teaching-screens about how to interact with it–it just smoothly enters the story. (A key feature, I imagine, when you want to get Junior to go the youknowwhat to sleep ASAP.)

This is just one high profile example of children’s and adult literature now available in interactive formats for mobile devices, in Ireland alone our animation and digital media industries are doing a great job of creating cutting edge interactive books, magazines and encyclopaedia.

Perhaps in time there will be a gulf between the digital book and its much loved paper grandfather. Many traditionalists will always insist that the book is mightier than any digital device and nothing can replace the texture, smell and well practised tradition of book reading and hoarding. To think that Bookshelves may become a thing of the past!? I suppose this discussion is not very dissimilar to the Vinyl-CD-iPOD triangle that still rattles on today.

However in light of World Book Day 2012 we should be considering how best to encourage our tech-savy children and tweens to engage in reading as best they can. Perhaps the best option is to grant them access to books on devices and in formats they are familiar with and that apply to their contemporary wants and needs. So if you can’t make it to a book shop any time soon take a second to look in your App store or market and see if there is something affordable that can interest your children. I suppose in the end it is most important to promote the act of reading more so than the format it is presented in.

World Book Day 2012 takes place on March 1st look our for events in your area here!

Suite of Apple Apps with Stories and Info!

And as if by magic this was posted today!

Recommendations from the Community!

We received loads of great recommendations from our readers on what they would consider the best children’s books out there.. have a look and maybe contribute your own favourites at the bottom!

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