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World Book Day | Famous book characters come to life

01 Mar 2018

March 1st is World Book Day, a perfect opportunity for all children at Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai to immerse themselves in a world of books and the joy of reading. To celebrate this special day, we asked our children to dress up as their favourite fictional characters with help from their parents to prepare costumes made from recycled materials, making the celebration even more fun but still environmental friendly.


 In the morning, the bilingual setting welcomed an incredible array of fantastically costumed characters – ranging from Harry Potter to the Pigsy from Journey to the West, Flower Fairy and Snow White; the most beloved storybook creations from all over the world. Throughout the day, the children eagerly talked with their friends about their colourful and creative outfits, as well as their reading experiences, highlighting the important role of books in their lives.




 English writer and poet Mary Wortley Montagu had a famous saying: “No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting”, while Maxim Gorky once said: “Books are the ladder of human progress”. Books are indeed an incredible source of knowledge and developing a love of varied and habitual reading at a young age is invariably beneficial for children. Here are just a few benefits of building and maintaining such reading habits:

1. Improving cognitive and creative thinking

Reading gives children the opportunity to use logical and imaginative thinking to understand new concepts and apply their understanding of these concepts to real life circumstances. When reading, young minds are constantly developing their ability to reason and interpret the world around them.


2. Inspiring imagination

While reading, children are exploring everything depicted in books with their five senses. Every picture and every sentence can throw them into an imaginary world full of vivid sounds, colours and scenes. Each book that they read allows them to exercise their imagination, making it stronger and more ambitious.


3. Stimulating learning

Reading empowers children with information. The more they read, the more they learn. Reading also builds the skills of comprehension and independent learning. Evidence shows that children with strong reading abilities are also efficient learners and well-rounded individuals. 


Developing children’s reading skills is very important and there are many things you could do to help encourage your child’s reading at home:
  • Take the time to select the right books which are age-appropriate and cater to your child’s interests. If children burst into laughter, react with excitement to key plot points, or raise many questions as they are reading, then you have probably chosen an appropriate book.
  • We encourage parents to spend time reading together with children. If your child shows great interest in a specific book, you can re-read it over and over again to fully explore the story and reinforce their love of reading. You can even ask your child to create their own version of the story, allowing them to be inspired by the books that they enjoy.
  • Set a positive example for your child by making reading a visibly important part of your own life. Creating a reading atmosphere at home is essential. Reading together with your child before bedtime and during weekends is an enjoyable and beneficial way to encourage a love of books.

We hope that you all enjoy World Book Day to the fullest. It’s a day of appreciation for books but also a day of literary discovery for people of all ages; an ideal time to try out a new book, author, or even a whole new genre. Remember, what you like to read is less important than making sure that you read frequently and keep your mind open to exploring new books and ideas. Reading is a vital skill and interest that starts at school, but should last a lifetime.