As an official Partner for World Book Day, Rubies will once again support the charity as it celebrates a very important year in its history – its 25th anniversary.
World Book Day has grown from humble beginnings into a cultural phenomenon. On the first Thursday in March, every child in full-time education in the UK is given a voucher to be spent on books and can get dressed up as their favourite characters to celebrate reading-themed activities in school. The event promotes literacy and other essential life-skills which help to open doors to children that might have otherwise never have been accessible.
Fran Hales, Head of Content and Marketing of Rubies UK, says: “As the official Corporate Partner of the World Book Day charity, we are very excited about 3 March, as kids will be making up for lost time by dressing up to celebrate the joys of reading as their favourite characters from literature.
“As part of our All Dressed Up campaign, the focus for World Book Day will be to encourage consumers to “Read… Wear… Share” with Rubies costumes. The campaign promotes the importance of being able to enjoy reading a book, owning a book and wearing a costume as a secondary part of the celebrations on the day. The sharing element is twofold – firstly by sharing a story or a favourite book and secondly, actively encouraging children to donate their costume from previous book days either to charity or to schools to ensure other children can also experience the joys of having their own character costume and don’t miss out on the fun.”
The world’s largest designer, manufacturer and producer of fancy-dress costumes and accessories, Rubies represents a host of the most loved licensed characters and books that kids love, including The Beano, Horrid Henry, Amelia Fang, DC Comics, Marvel, Star Wars and many others. And now, retailers can get stocked up with everything Wizarding World and Harry Potter to mark both the 25th anniversary of the start of the franchise and the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore this year.
Mike O’Connell, COO of Rubies UK, says: “Rubies as a company loves World Book Day and all the charity stands for. We all love to read, and we understand the importance of World Book Day and what it means to children and parents alike. Tucking into a real page turner isn’t just about escapism, it’s fundamental to supporting imaginations, developing vocabulary, and providing an incredibly powerful life skill. We actively encourage dress-up as it helps association with literature, breaks down walls by making reading accessible for pure enjoyment, which in turn can open doors of opportunity to all children later in life.
“We endeavor to spread this love of reading through our costumes, which allow children to become part of the stories they love. We understand that by doing this we are championing literacy, creativity and intelligence in young children all of which will positively shape who they grow to be.’
What World Book Day means to kids
A report commissioned by World Book Day explored the impact of World Book Day on the reading lives of primary-aged children in the UK. It showed how World Book Day welcomes children into the world of books and reading in two ways: by helping all children become book owners, many for the first time, and by supporting many other activities and experiences essential for building life-long readers.
Data in the report was drawn from six focus groups reaching 50 children aged between 8 and 11 in schools serving areas of disadvantage in Glasgow, Hastings, Manchester and Middlesbrough in late 2019, and three surveys conducted in 2021.
The survey found that for children aged 8 to 11, the most frequent responses to the question about what they liked most about the day included dressing up, new books and reading. As well as finding dressing up fun, children’s comments indicated that it had benefits for their imagination and could even inspire wider reading.
From the anticipation of waiting “all year round” to dress up (and indeed, to see others’ costumes) to feeling encouraged and confident to “try reading things [they] had never wanted to or tried reading before”, World Book Day gives children the chance to discover and develop as readers, and the social aspects of the day also play a significant role in its success.
Furthermore, several comments suggest that dressing up offers children an opportunity to reflect on their reading, and in particular, the book characters that had inspired them:
“I dressed up and it was fun to see which characters I know or don’t and then read about them”
“I dress up as a character who has inspired me or has made me see something for the better”
“[I love] becoming a character that I admire (Hermione Granger)”
You can find out more about the study here.
For the first year ever, World Book Day can now officially fundraise for its cause. Anyone can help by sharing the news; for more information, click here.
World Book Day is on 3 March 2022. Rubies costumes are available from its website, rubiesuk.com, and also at trusted e-retailers such as Amazon.