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World Book Day celebrations with Cressida Cowell

Reading for pleasure was celebrated today as over 750 school children from 20 schools across the region attended a special World Book Day event with the much-loved children’s author and World Book Day Trustee, Cressida Cowell.


A packed Wolverhampton Grand Station was a sea of colour with costumes ranging from the BFG, Anne of Green Gables, Cruella De Vil, to Willy Wonka, Where’s Wally and many more!

The How to Train Your Dragon author and Waterstones Children’s Laureate (2019-2022) Cressida Cowell, spoke to the children about her latest children’s book Which Way to Anywhere, inspiring them to have the confidence to put their own stories down on paper and to read as much as possible for pleasure. In sharing her personal journey to becoming a best-selling author, Cressida excited the young audience with her tales of magical worlds and linked a love of reading to being successful in life, regardless of background.

Caption: Cressida Cowell with Deputy Mayor of Wolverhampton, Cllr Mike Hardacre, WGS Head, Alex Frazer and children from across Wolverhampton.

As an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust, Cressida is well aware that for 1 in 7 children, a World Book Day book is the first book they will own, half a million children do not own any books at all and only 1 in 7 primary schools nationally have their own library. It was therefore extra special to see every child gifted a signed, hard-back copy of Cressida’s latest book, thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Merchant Taylors’ Foundation, along with a World Book Token. Wolverhampton Grammar School, who partnered with Annie Everall OBE from Authors Aloud UK, to organise this fantastic event are the second oldest of the Merchant Taylors’ Schools and secured this funding on behalf of the children of Wolverhampton. Jane Hindle of the Merchant Taylors’ Company and the DeputyMayor and Deputy Mayoress were proud to lend their support to this life-changing event and were overwhelmed to see the audience of school children thoroughly engaged with Cressida’s presentation.

Head of Wolverhampton Grammar School, Alex Frazer commented: “We are delighted to welcome Cressida to the City of Wolverhampton for our 2023 World Book Day celebrations. Inspiring children of all ages to read and write for pleasure is imperative to their education and at Wolverhampton Grammar School we are thrilled to work with local primary and secondary schools to encourage a love of literacy.”

Cressida Cowell responded, “It has been an amazing day meeting so many children from Wolverhampton and seeing their enthusiasm for reading. Reading for pleasure is the biggest indicator of a child’s future success, and a big joyous event like this can make a huge impact on every child attending. Thank you to Wolverhampton Grammar School and Authors Aloud UK for organising this wonderful day.”