Vikings back in Dublin to celebrate World Book Day

Children in 100 countries across the globe to explore imaginations through reading

Kelly Saunders (5) from Tallaght with “Viking” Ros Crammond at the launch of World Book Day. Photograph: Alan Betson

Kelly Saunders (5) from Tallaght with “Viking” Ros Crammond at the launch of World Book Day. Photograph: Alan Betson

Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 01:00


Vikings are coming back to life to roam the city again for the celebration of the 16th annual World Book Day.

Award-winning author Mary Arrigan has written a book called Milo and the Long Lost Warriors exclusively for World Book Day in Ireland, which will take place on March 6th.

Her story tells of a young boy who goes on a school tour to Dublinia and meets three Viking warriors from the Battle of Clontarf who have come back to life.

The reader follows his adventures as he tries to help the warriors to get back to their own time – 1,000 years ago. Kieu Trinh Kennedy (8) from Malahide, who enjoyed the story, said she loved to read. “I can read a book a day. This one is really fun and exciting. I like it,” she said.
Bob Johnston, the chairman of the Booksellers Association in Ireland, said every primary school pupil in the country would be getting a €1.50 token towards buying one of the titles on the book list.

Mr Johnston said there were 10 books designed for various age groups, including Hello, Hugless Douglas! by David Melling, Middle School: How I Got Lost in London by James Patterson, and The Boy in the Smoke by Maureen Johnson. “It’s a concern that children don’t get access to books that encourage them to keep reading,” he said. “The day is to remind children of the fun they can have with books.”

Mr Johnston said the number of children reading outside the classroom was declining.

“Literacy is always a concern. Books not only help with your imagination but also give children the ability to empathise and learn about the lives of others.”

Celebrating the arts
Children’s Books Ireland’s Aoife Murray said World Book Day was hugely important for children in the 100 countries that mark it. “We’re lucky we’ve a country that celebrates the arts and we’re known for it,” she said. “

We must encourage the next generation to keep it going.”

Ms Murray said books helped children to develop and to grow their knowledge. “When you read it’s very personal, in your own time and you enter a different world,” she said.

On the day children can dress as their favourite character and attend events in libraries, schools and bookshops across the country. There will also be free bookmaking workshops in the National Print Museum. Further details are available at worldbookday.com