World Book Day reveals its 2023 £1 books

Lenny Henry, LD Lapinski, Adam Kay and Joe Wicks jave joined n the line-up of £1 World Book Day 2023 authors and illustrators, encouraging children and families to read, ahead of the big celebration on Thursday 2nd March 2023.

This year, for the first time, children helped with the selection of the £1 books to help engage and inspire more children with relatable titles
This year, for the first time, children helped with the selection of the £1 books to help engage and inspire more children with relatable titles

This year, for the first time, children helped with the selection of the £1/€1.50 books. The children, previously described as ‘reluctant readers’, explored titles by potential World Book Day 2023 authors to make their recommendations.

Including children’s voices in the selection of the £1/€1.50 books demonstrates the charity’s commitment to engage and inspire more children with relatable titles, championing the energy and diversity of children’s literature in the UK and Ireland today.

READ about National Read a Book Day here

Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income.

Advertisement

To support more children in developing a lifelong habit of reading for pleasure, World Book Day’s six evidence-based principles sit at the core of all its activity:

Being read to regularly

Access to books at home

The ability for children to choose what they want to read

Advertisement

Having trusted adults and peers sharing and recommending books

The reading experience being enjoyable

Designated time to read

Research found that 50 percent of children found reading more fun, 49 percent feel they have more choice in what they read and 42 percent said they now make more time to read, as a result of World Book Day.

Advertisement

The charity works closely with partners including booksellers across the country, over 35 publishers, BookTrust, National Literacy Trust, Publishers Association, Booksellers Association and Libraries Connected.

Together, they aim to improve access and gift books to more isolated communities, including 24,000 books to prisons to encourage families to read together when visiting.

During its 25th birthday this year booksellers and publishers gifted 2,000,000 £1/€1.50 books through World Book Day via, and the charity’s digital events reached more than 500,000 children.

In 2023, the charity will look to build on this and reach more children than ever - especially those from harder to reach communities and disadvantaged backgrounds. An extensive programme of activities to encourage and support reading will take place with authors, illustrators, publishers, retailers and partners.

Advertisement

Lenny Henry said: "'I am really chuffed to be part of the line-up of £1 World Book Day 2023 authors and illustrators with my book, The Boy with Wings: Attack of the Rampaging Robot.

"It is such an honour to be on the list. Reading is such an amazing thing to do, it opens imaginations wide and takes us all off on new adventures. I wholeheartedly support World Book Day's commitment to encouraging more children to read, and championing the diversity of children’s literature on offer in the UK and Ireland today.'."

Cassie Chadderton, chief executive of World Book Day said: “Our aim as a charity is to encourage all children to love reading, see themselves as readers and ultimately, improve their life chances.

"This is even more important at a time when the cost of living crisis is set to damage access to books and reading for thousands of children. The announcement of our £1/€1.50 World Book Day books is always an exciting moment and we’re proud to present these 15 books for 2023 from a wonderful range of authors and illustrators.”

Advertisement

World Book Day’s 2023 £1/€1.50 books are:

BEGINNING

Lifesize Creepy Crawlies, by Sophy Henn, published by Red Shed, Farshore

Come on an interactive non-fiction adventure to discover how YOU measure up against some of the world’s most incredible LIFESIZE creepy crawlies – from the teeny tiny to the absolutely gigantic!

Advertisement

This fascinating glimpse into the magical world of minibeasts is brought to you by Sophy Henn – the star creator of the bestselling LIFESIZE series.

Billy’s Bravery, by Tom Percival, published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Billy absolutely LOVES Nature Girl. She’s his favourite superhero EVER! He has read all the books, seen all the cartoons, and he’s even got his own Nature Girl costume! So when World Book Day comes round, Billy knows exactly who he wants to dress up as.

Then Billy hears a nasty voice in his head. What if he looks silly? What if his friends make fun of him? Going out in a costume can be scary, even if you are dressed up as your favourite character in the whole world. Can Billy be as brave as Nature Girl?

Advertisement

A reassuring and uplifting book about finding your courage – the perfect springboard for talking about anxiety with little ones.

Bedtime for the Burpee Bears, by Joe Wicks, co-written with Vivian French, illustrated by Paul Howard, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books

The Burpee Bears love to have fun – and that includes bedtime! From trying to brush their teeth without squirting toothpaste everywhere, to putting on their pyjamas the right way round, there’s certainly a lot to keep everyone busy. But the best part of all is settling down together for quiet time before they finally close their eyes.

EARLY

Advertisement

You Choose Your Adventure by Pippa Goodhart, illustrated by Nick Sharratt published by Puffin (Penguin Random House Children’s Books)

Welcome to your adventure!

What will you wear?

Where will you go?

Advertisement

Who would you like to meet on the way?

Go on . . . YOU CHOOSE!

Discover a different story every time with this magical storytelling toolkit – let your imagination run wild!

Marvel Spider-Man the Amazing Pocket Guide, by Catherine Saunders, published by DK

Advertisement

Become an expert on all things Spider-Man with this bitesize pocket guide!

Discover everything you ever needed to know about Spider-Man and the Spider-Verse! Is Spider-Man speedier than Spider-Ham? Who has more fighting skill, Venom or Vulture? Pick up this Pocket Guide and you’ll have all of these Spidey facts and more at your fingertips.

Dave Pigeon: Bookshop Mayhem, by Swapna Haddow, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey, published by Faber

Dave Pigeon and his trusty sidekick, Skipper, are on the hunt for biscuits, as per usual. Biscuits and good stories.

Advertisement

Where better to go than a bookshop? Surely there'll be a healthy supply of both . . .

Only, pigeons aren't exactly welcome in bookshops. Feather-flapping chaos ensues with inevitably hilarious results!

A laugh-out-loud story featuring a much-loved character, Dave Pigeon, which promotes a love of bookshops and their Human Booksellers and encourages children to get reading.

FLUENT

Advertisement

The Boy with Wings: Attack of the Rampaging Robot, by Lenny Henry, illustrated by Keenon Ferrell, published by Macmillan Children’s Books

An Ordinary Kid on an Extraordinary Adventure

Tunde Wilkinson is an ordinary kid. He has awesome friends, sometimes embarrassing parents and needs to be careful his wings don't get in the way on the football pitch.

Wait...wings?

Advertisement

Oh yeah, Tunde is also a secret superhero.

When a new kid starts at his school and is better than him at everything, not even Tunde's friends seem on his side. Does this new kid have a connection to the shady Facility? And can Tunde figure it all out before an evil robot destroys their town?

Take flight with Tunde in this exciting new Boy With Wings adventure!

A Dragon Realm Adventure, by Katie & Kevin Tsang, published by Simon & Schuster Children’s Books

Advertisement

Twelve-year-old Billy Chan and his friends each share a bond with a dragon. When new dragons fall from the sky into the Human Realm, the group join forces to reunite them with their lost egg. But the Dragon Realm is filled with dangerous magical creatures and threats lurking round every corner. Can our heroes accomplish their mission, or will they fall at the last hurdle?

Kay’s Brilliant Brains by Adam Kay, illustrated by Henry Paker, published by Puffin (Penguin Random House Children’s Books)

One hundred billion people have lived on earth. Unfortunately, this book would be too heavy if it talked about them all, so it's only about ten of them.

Containing 4,523,825 facts (this is a guess), KAY’S BRILLIANT BRAINS is written and illustrated especially for World Book Day 2023 by the record-breaking Adam Kay and Henry Parker. It’s a hilarious celebration of ten of the world’s most ingenious geniuses and all that their brilliant brains achieved.

Advertisement

Strangeworlds Travel Agency: Adventure in the Floating Mountains, by L. D Lapinski published by Hachette Children’s Group

It is the once-every-century Cloud-Wish Festival in the magical world of Strofadia, and Flick and Jonathan have travelled there from the Strangeworlds Travel Agency via suitcase to be a part of it.

Strofadia is a land of flight and fantasy. It is centred around three floating mountains, the largest of which is the home of the great Cloud Dragon. At the end of the Cloud-Wish festival, the Cloud Dragon will appear to grant the wishes from the people of Strofadia – wishes it has been guarding for the last one hundred years.

But when the moons rise at the end of the festival, there is no sign of movement from the mountain. Will Flick and Jonathan be able to find their way through the mountain to the Cloud Dragon and save the festival from disaster?

Advertisement

INDEPENDENT

Boot It! by A. M. Dassu, published by Old Barn Books

Sami and Ali dream of playing for the school football team. They practise in the park every day and work hard on their skills.

But acing the trials is the last of the boys' worries when they're made to feel they don't belong on the team because of the colour of their skin.

Advertisement

Ali just wants to tackle the ball on the pitch. Now he's being forced to tackle the racism in his team too.

But how can he, when he's told it's 'just banter'?

From the award-winning author of Boy, Everywhere, a powerful story of friendship and booting out racism.

Being An Ally: Real Talk About Showing Up, Screwing Up, and Trying Again, edited by Sharkirah Bourne and Dana Alison Levy (featuring essays from Derick Brooks, Shakirah Bourne, Naomi and Natalie Evans, Lizzie Huxley-Jones, Dana Alison Levy, and A.J. Sass), published by DK

Advertisement

This book is for everyone. Because we can all be allies.

As an ally, you use your power – no matter how big or small – to support others. You learn, and try, and mess up and try harder. In this collection of true stories, YA authors get real about being an ally, needing an ally and showing up for friends and strangers. These authors share their truths and invite you to think about your own experiences and choices – and how you can be a better ally. There are no easy answers, but this book helps you ask better questions. Because we’re all in this together. And we all need allies.

WALES

Cyw title TBC, by Anni Llŷn published by Y Lolfa

Advertisement

Llyfr arall yn y gyfres Stori Cyw. Llyfr byr, syml, llawn lliw, am Cyw a'i ffrindiau.

Another title in the popular 'Cyw' series. A colourful book with a short, simple text about Cyw and her friends.

IRELAND

Hazel Tree Farm: One Stormy Night, by Alma Jordan, illustrated by Margaret Suggs published by The O’Brien Press

Advertisement

It's the beginning of a new year on Hazel Tree Farm, and with it comes a burst of new life.

Peter helps Dad to bring baby lambs into the world, while his sister Kate falls in love with next door's fluffy chicks – and one in particular!

But something is wrong with sheepdog Peg, and one stormy night, she runs away. Through wind and rain, the children race to find her before it’s too late.

Rita agus an Dragún (Irish language title), by Máire Zepf, illustrated by Mr Ando (Andrew Whitson) published by An tSnáthaid Mhór

Advertisement

Is cailín beag í Rita le smaointe móra. Nuair a eiríonn sí crosta, samhlaíonn sí go bhfuil dragún fíochmhar feargach aici a chuirfeadh an domhan ar crith. Ach is féidir tine the na feirge a cheansú, agus tá a fhios ag Rita cén dóigh lena dhéanamh.

Rita is a little girl with big ideas. When she becomes cross, she imagines she has a ferocious angry dragon who would make the world shudder. But the hot fire of anger can be tamed, and Rita knows how.