Scrolling through Facebook earlier this year, I saw a friend’s post where her, recently relocated, family was celebrating World Book Day at school in the UK. An avid book lover and aspiring writer, I was super jealous that we weren’t also celebrating in the US. So, I checked into it and found we weren’t slacking after all. The UK (and Ireland) just celebrate early as the annual event, also known as World Book and Copyright Day, or International Day of the Book, conflicted with Easter on occasion.

The original inspiration came from the Spanish writer Vicente Clavel Andrés to honor the great writer, Cervantes, on the date of his death. In 1995 UNESCO decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on April 23rd, as the date is also the anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, as well as that of the birth or death of several other prominent authors.

Around the World, different regions celebrate books, authors, and the written word in various celebrations and recognition. In Catalonia, St. George’s Day (Diada de Sant Jordi), the patron saint of Catalonia, is celebrated with giving loved ones books and roses. In Spain, Book Day has been observed since 1926 and was originally celebrated on October 7th, the date of Cervantes birth. In 1930, King Alfonso XIII changed it to April 23rd, the date of Cervantes death and a much better season for celebration. In Sweden, the day is known as Världsbokdagen, and the copyright aspect is seldom mentioned. They too have moved the day of celebration a few times in the last 25 years to avoid Easter. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it has become an annual charity event in March. All school-aged children are provided a ticket that entitles them to a free book!

So, in honor of World Book Day on April 23rd, pop by a bookstore, use those Audible credits, or snag something new from your favorite digital platform and share the day with your kiddos too. Need some ideas?

Books with the Kids: I love finding new books to read with my 3 y/o. While we have the classics that are ALWAYS in the rotation, we have loved adding a few of the below to our nightly routine.

World Book Day :: Best Reads for 2021 

  • Last Stop on Market Street (age 3+), By Matt de la Peña (2015)
  • Love Makes a Family (age 3+) By Sophie Beer (2018)
  • I am Enough (age 4+) By Grace Byers (2018)
  • How to Catch a Unicorn (age 4+) By Adam Wallace (2019), love the “How to Catch” series!
  • The Bad Seed (age 4 – 6) By Jory John (2017), also a fan of The Good Egg
  • What Should Danny Do? (age 4+) By Ganit & Adir Levy (2019). They also just released What Should Darla Do? in 2020!
  • Sofia Valdez, Future Prez (age 5+) By Andrea Beaty (2019)
  • The Backyard Bug Book for Kids: Storybook, Insect Facts, and Activities (age 6+) By Lauren Davidson (2019)

Books for the kids: Taking my tween (and now teen) into a bookstore and letting her roam free can be inspiring. There has been so much I wanted to teach her through the last year but know she would better “hear” it in a story. Here are some timely books kids can read on their own and some just for fun!

  • New Kid (age 8+) By Jerry Craft (2019)
  • Front Desk, Book 1 (age 9+) By Kelly Yang (2019)
  • The Last Kids on Earth: The Monster Box (age 10+) By Max Brallier (2018)
  • I Am Malala (age 10+) By Malala Yousafzai, Patricia McCormick (2014)
  • Miss Maya and the Bridge to Everywhere (age 10+) By Norman Earl Baron (2019)
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (age 12+) By Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi (2020)
  • Starfish (age 12+) By Lisa Fipps (2021)

Books for the Pool/Beach: Tis’ the season for a cool drink, a slathering of sunscreen and lounge chair reads, that is if your kids are old enough to let you enjoy some time solo. I historically have saved up my “chick lit” finds for this season, but have expanded my genres and am looking forward to a few of these;

  • Clap When You Land By Elizabeth Acevedo (2020)
  • The Midnight Library: A Novel By Matt Haig (2020)
  • My Lovely Wife By Samantha Downing (2020)
  • Tears of the Trufflepig: A Novel By Fernando Arturo Flores (2019)
  • Nine Perfect Strangers By Liane Moriarty (2019)
  • The Radium Girls (The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women) By Kate Moore (2018)
  • The Guncle By Steven Rowley (2021)

My recent reads: I am all over the map when it comes to what I pick up to read. Whether I am looking for knowledge, inspiration, humor or escape, I will read anything that speaks to me!

  • Untangled By Lisa Damour (2017) A MUST read for any tween/teen girl mom. It would make an AWESOME Netflix Series too.
  • From Sabotage to Support: A New Vision for Feminist Solidarity in the Workplace By Joy L. Wiggins and Kami J. Anderson (2019)
  • Nothing Like I Imagined By Mindy Kaling (2020)
  • American Like Me By America Ferrera (2019), giving it to my teen to read next!

Photo Credit :: Amy McLaughlin Photography

Born in New Hampshire and raised in Florida, Rachel got to Texas as quickly as she could. She has spent the last 20 years in this amazing city as a student, wife, mother, friend and professional. She met her husband, Jonathan, here in Austin and the two share all things Longhorns, as well as a love of football, traveling, and being amateur foodies. When not carpooling the social butterfly, Claire, or watching the world through the eyes of a toddler, Diana, you can find Rachel researching, planning, and booking their next travel adventure. She is an unapologetic Patriots fan and a firm believer in self-care; eat clean, train dirty, and never under estimate the power of a fresh mani/pedi.


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