Today is #WorldBookDay, an international celebration of reading! We’re grateful for such a celebration as we are all staying at home, as it invites us to connect with the world in a unique way through the simplicity, and power, of curling up with a good book. We’ve selected a couple books that are on our “must read” list this year to inspire how you might celebrate #WorldBookDay.
Being at home for such a long period of time can be challenging. Pull out a map with your child and encourage them that children across the world are reading today; point to different places on the map, and imagine what those places look like. Reading has the power to help us travel in our minds, and push our imaginations to visit places we’ve never been. Seize today to reignite your perception of staying at home.
For Preschool and Beyond
Behind the Little Red Door by Coy Bowles, illustrated by Joanna Davidovich ($20.00; shopcoybowles.com) Age 4–7
This latest children’s book from Coy Bowles (Grammy-award winning Zac Brown Band guitarist, children’s book author—and proud Georgia native) encourages kids to use their creativity to determine what is behind the little red door in each spread. Bowles has a whimsical, sing-songy approach to storytelling that encourages reading, innovation, and fun, while learning side-by-side their adult counterparts.
As you know, early literacy is integral to your child’s growth, so we were especially pleased to learn that “Behind the Little Red Door” was published in partnership with Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning, Bright from the Start. They distributed 84,000 copies to early learning classrooms across the state! Bowles’s association with the agency honors the 25th birthday celebration of Georgia’s Pre-K Program, a free and voluntary program available to all of Georgia’s four-year-olds, and their families.
Small in the City by Sydney Smith (Neil Porter $18.99) Age 4-8
Award-winning Canadian artist Smith also wrote this poignant story about perspective and empathy, whose layered depth is shown through semi-abstract and nuanced illustrations. Almost immediately upon its release in September 2019, the book was hailed as a new classic by NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and many others.
The book opens with a child, bundled up against a bleak, wintry day, venturing out into a bustling skyscraper-filled Toronto. As he wanders, the running text reveals an internal dialogue whose calm delivery belies an unexplained worry—and, ultimately, the promise of a safe harbor at home.
We’re impressed with how the structure of the text—where the child protagonist gives voice to anxious emotions by empathizing with another character’s experience—provides recognition of difficult feelings with enough distance they don’t feel threatening to the reader. It’s easy to see why the New York Times calls this “the best picture book of the year,” saying that “for the right child it will be revelatory.”
More about World Book Day
World Book Day is a registered charity on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. Thousands of bookshops and supermarkets are taking part in World Book Day. Find your local participating bookseller by downloading a list here or by searching here. Visit World Book Day’s website for stay-at-home ideas, and even online master classes with our world’s most beloved authors!
Note: Age recommendations are based upon publisher guidelines and parent feedback. Book prices are publisher’s list; discounts are usually available. App prices are current at time of publication; in-app purchases are often available.