World Book Day can be the ‘birth of reading' for many children, says Camilla

A virtual programme of events will mark this year's celebration.

The Duchess of Cornwall has said World Book Day “means the birth of reading” for many children, ahead of her appearance at an event to launch the annual initiative.

Camilla is joined by broadcaster Dermot O’Leary, ex-junior doctor and author Adam Kay, blogger Louise Pentland and teacher-turned-rapper MC Grammar in a virtual programme of events to mark the occasion.

World Book Day, which takes place on Thursday, aims to promote reading and give children greater access to books.

World Book Day
Camilla has previously marked the occasion by visiting schools (Chris Jackson/PA)

Camilla said: “To actually own your first book is something that you’re never going to forget.

“That first book will be there forever. And it’s hopefully going to lead children to reading more and more, discovering different authors and different subjects.

“I think for a lot of children out there, World Book Day actually means the birth of reading.”

In previous years, the duchess has marked the annual event by visiting primary schools.

Book tokens and reading materials are being distributed as part of World Book Day.

The organisation’s chief executive Cassie Chadderton said: “As a charity, World Book Day has for over 20 years been offering all children and young people the chance to have a book of their own.

The Duchess of Cornwall on World Book Day
Camilla said World Book Day can be the ‘birth of reading’ for many children (Philip Toscano/PA)

“In the last week of home-schooling, we want to bring the joy and magic of reading to children everywhere.

“The phenomenal support World Book Day has received this year shows just how much we can all rally behind the vision for all children to enjoy the life-changing benefits of reading.”

The charity’s Show Your Shares campaign urges people to post pictures of themselves reading together on social media.

The Royal Mail will also decorate post boxes to honour authors.

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