Darlene Foster's Blog

World Book Day 2022

Posted on: March 6, 2022

March 3 was World Book Day this year and many schools encourage students to dress up as a favourite character from a book. I was delighted that one young reader dressed as Amanda in Spain! Her aunt sent me a picture. How special is that?

I love seeing who children choose to dress up as. A friend´s granddaughter dressed as Heidi, from a book I loved as a child. The young girl was upset that her mummy was in the hospital for three weeks, so her grandmother read a chapter of Heidi to her every night before bed, which settled her down nicely. It was her grandmother’s favourite book and now it is her favourite book too. Isn´t her costume great!

I now want to read this wonderful book, set in Switzerland, again.

I was invited to do a virtual visit to a Year 5 class in Birmingham, England to discuss Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting, as they were reading it in class.

This is part of the email from the teacher:

Dear Darlene,

I hope this email finds you well.

This year I am again using your wonderful text, Amanda in Spain in my English lessons to link to our Viva Espana topic. I have another class of Year 5 pupils who are absolutely mesmerised by every word and complain each time I close the book when a chapter ends!

I am emailing in the hope that you would be willing to do another virtual meet, like the one we arranged last year? We will have started a second of your books, in Reading lessons instead – Amanda in England. My class last year, LOVED this book just as much. We read the last chapter eating a scone with jam and cream to celebrate! I hope to do this again also. In fact, my previous pupils, who are based in the classroom next door, keep asking myself and the current pupils which chapter we are on and what has happened! I think that is a true sign of how much your book enthralled them.

I’m off to place tomatoes on the tables to enhance my lesson on the Tomatina chapter now! Hope to hear from you soon.

Now if that doesn´t make an author´s heart sing!!

What a delightful class, we had so much fun. The visit was the day after WBD so I asked who they dressed up as and they told me everyone dressed as a Harry Potter character! That would have been great to see.

Each student had prepared a comment or question about the book, writing in general, and Spain. Some practised using the Spanish words in the book.

Here are some of the comments and questions:

Reading Amanda in Spain made me want to visit Spain.

The book was amazing and now I want to read more Amanda Travels books.

After I read the book, we tried tapas.

I was inspired to research Guadi and discovered he was a famous architect.

After reading your book, I was inspired to write a story called Pedro and the Missing Blanket.

Have you been to The Prado Museum and did you see the painting?

Have you taken part in Tomatino?

Have you ever been to a fiesta?

Will we see Dona and Francisco in any other books?

Will we get to know more about Amanda´s parents in other books?

Besides, travel, what other hobbies does Amanda have?

What inspires you to write these books?

Why did you move to Spain?

Have you been to a bullfight?

What advice would you give a young author?

Who would you use as an illustrator if you decided to have the books illustrated?

How much time do you spend proofreading each book?

Have you written any books for adults?

Aren´t these just the best questions? They were all so well-spoken, polite and sincere.

I also read a couple of pages from Amanda in Malta which they loved. This was my second visit to this school, and later the teacher told me that the class from last year were watching through the window and wished they could have been part of it.

Visiting classrooms in person or virtually is the best thing about being a children´s author.

I hope everyone had a super World Book Day!

Who would you choose to dress up as?

79 Responses to "World Book Day 2022"

Those are so wonderful, Darlene. Sharing…

HI Darlene, what a lovely experience for you and great feedback from the children. WBD is not celebrated here as far as I know, but I would chose Alice in Wonderland, I just love that book. My dad bought me a special edition copy of Heidi with colour plates. I just love it.

You would make a perfect Alice in Wonderland. I had a copy of Heidi for a long time but I don´t see it on my bookshelves so I must have given it away. I remember really loving it.

How delightful to encourage such an interest in reading and your character Amanda, Darlene. All credit to you as author and the teacher too. Onwards and upwards. xx

Thanks, Joy. I always wanted to be a teacher so I guess these visits fill that need.

Author, author! Applause, applause! The children’s questions are fantastic. You must have had such fun answering them.

I did, especially the bullfight one, something I am totally against and would never attend. Fortunately, they all agreed with me. Apparently, they had had a discussion in class about it. They liked the story of how the bullring in Barcelona has been turned into a shopping centre.

Interesting about the bullfighting question. Does bullfighting still take place in Spain?

I hope they told you how they could relate to that, as the main shopping centre in Birmingham, with over 200 shops, is called the Bullring. The name goes back to the days when there was a cattle market on the site.

In some parts. It is banned in Catalonia and a few other provinces. But you can still see one in Madrid. Most Spanish people are against them too, especially the younger generations.

It’s good to hear that bullfighting is on its way out in Spain.

My goodness! How marvelous to have such a wonderful response from a class! Those questions for you were very good.

It certainly made my day/month/year so far. They were amazing questions. Kids can be so astute.

My six year old grandson dressed up as Amelia Earheart; he does have a book that features her, so I guess real life characters are allowed. For our zoom book club we had to think who we would dress up as and I could not think of a character I wanted to be! I opted for Kit hunter showjumper in the end, after all I always envied the girls in my pony books!

That is so wonderful that your grandson dressed as Amelia Earheart! A great choice. I like your choice too of Kit Hunter Showjumper. I would dress up as Anne of Green Gables. A fun day for all ages.

How wonderful for you to have this relationship with the children through your books. I love the costumes in the photos too. It must be very rewarding for you to get real life feedback like this on how much your stories are enjoyed.

These experiences are very rewarding and make all the hard work and frustrations of writing novels worthwhile! Also inspires me to continue on this journey. Thanks, Clive.

I’m sure it’s the best reward you can have, and is real encouragement to keep going!

This is wonderful, Darlene. What a fabulous way to engage young readers. Providing children the opportunity to meet authors (even via their screens) plants lifelong seeds!

I agree, when they can meet an author and see that it can be done, it could inspire them to meet their goals as well. I know I would have been over the moon to meet an author when I was a child. Heck, I get excited now when I meet one!

The ultimate compliment is that a student chose to dress up as Amanda, Darlene. You must be on Cloud Nine.

I am definitely on cloud 9!! She looks so sweet and even wears glasses like Amanda does.

Lovely outfits…great use of imagination. I’d do cartwheels if a student ever dressed up as a Mennonite girl – ha!

That would be so cool! The outfits are very clever.

Darlene. I so much enjoyed reading this piece. What an excellent compliment to your writing – the charming young girl wearing her Spanish dress and holding your “Amanda in Spain” book. That makes good writing so rewarding! I was so heartened also this week when I had a mail from a Swedish reader of my book, “Adsum: Mission and Passion” who told me he had “lived” my story. It makes the time and effort of writing books worth while!

It certainly does, Mark. As writers, we can live on these precious moments. How wonderful that your books are being read all over the world and that a reader enjoyed it so much to send you a message.

Certainly a result, Darlene

That’s super adorable to hear that one your fans dressed as Amanda in Spain. That letter from the teacher was very thoughtful. Congrats. I’m sure it must have felt very rewarding 🙂

It was very rewarding indeed.

That’s awesome! It’s fantastic when you get feedback and signs of the children’s enthusiasm for your books like that.

I facilitate a Zoom call on Fridays where we have an icebreaker question that’s book related. Well, I co-facilitate it, since it’s me and someone else. Anyway, we asked who people would be if they could be any fictional character in this week’s call and got some great responses. Personally I went with Luna Lovegood. In fact, my author bio lists me as being a combination of Luna Lovegood and Hermione Granger, because I feel like I am: I love reading and learning as much as Hermione does, but I’m a dreamer who doesn’t always see the world the way most people do like Luna is.

Hermione Granger is a great choice. I don´t know Luna Lovegood. What book is she from? That is a fun ice-breaker. I’ve used it before as well.

Luna Lovegood is another Harry Potter character. You’ll find her making appearances from book five onwards.

Thanks, I should have known that.

Darlene, when children start dressing up as a character from your books for WBD you have truly arrived!! 😀 Congratulations and she makes a terrific Amanda. I love the email from the school and the enthusiastic and thoughtful questions / comments from the students. What a testament to the power of your stories that the previous year were eagerly trying to look in. As for Heidi, the costume is wonderful and this was one of my favourite books in the first years of my life here in the UK. I still have my red leather-bound copy in my ‘special’ bookcase!

Thanks for your comments. Heidi is a special book and I’m not surprised you still have your copy.

On March 3, I made more time for reading than I usually do, but honestly, I didn’t know that was officially World Book day. For me, everyday is World Book Day, in all its manifestations 🙂

I guess if you don´t have children in school, you may not know about it. I agree every day should be World Book Day. But it is nice to see a day set aside to promote books and favourite characters.

How wonderful, Darlene! That first photo is priceless! Thank you for sharing!

Thanks, Jan. I was very excited when I saw that picture!!

How cute those girls are in their costumes. It’s lovely they can identify with the characters in a book. It makes it more real. I too loved Heidi and have a very old copy of it.

It seems like many of us loved Heidi. So nice to see young people still enjoying it!

Oh, wow, Darlene, what a delightful post you shared. It’s thrilled to find this lovely student dressed up and had your book Amanda in Spain in her hand. I love the book Heidi also and it’s such a heartwarming story.

Thanks, Miriam!! She does look delightful. Have you read Heidi to your granddaughters?

This is just wonderful!! The big smiles on the faces of the children says it all. I love how the grandmother reading Heidi inspired the girl to embrace Heidi as her favorite character. Darlene, you have made a difference and inspired more readers than you know. Hats off to Amanda!

Thanks, Jennie! That means a lot to me, coming from you. xo

[…] World Book Day 2022 […]

This is such an amazing response to your book, Darlene. I’ll pick it up for my daughter, though I think she may be a little old for it. But she and I both love Heidi too and do not tire of reading it. I remember the last time my daughter dressed up for Book day, it was as Beatrix from Harry Potter (not cute but she fitted it perfectly) :).

Thanks so much! I bet your daughter looked adorable as Beatrix. So many great characters from Harry Potter.

How wonderful! That feedback and those questions are so awesome, I bet that was so lovely to hear.

It was wonderful to hear! Thanks.

Thanks This is so wonderful

I love to hear of World Book day each year. My grandchildren have just grown out of primary stage and so too big. But it’s reminded me to look back at the photos. Both those young ladies look so beautiful and proud of themselves, as they should. Anything that encourages reading in the young is a winner with me.

I agree, anything to encourage reading is wonderful. Thanks for stopping by.

Wow, Darlene. Isn’t that fun! I love the idea of dressing up as a character, and how fun to virtually visit with a class that’s reading your book. The questions were great. Thanks for the smiles.

Thanks, Diana! It brought smiles to me as well. xo

There’s nothing better than seeing kids enjoy your book. You must love visiting with them virtually, Darlene – and what wonderful comments and questions! I read Heidi as a child – glad to see kids are still reading it.

Heidi seems to be multi-generational. Glad to see it is still enjoyed as well. I do love these virtual visits. The teachers always make them so easy to do as well. Hooray for great teachers.

How wonderful to see this, Darlene – the very best reward of all. Toni x

Seeing the young girl dressed as Amanda in Spain must have brought a big smile…she is so cute.

She is just adorable. The picture certainly did bring a big smile! Thanks

I loved this post, Darlene. It made me smile so much. The young girl dressed as Amanda in Spain is gorgeous. It brought back memories of when I was a child and had a Spanish dress to dress up in. I loved all the layers of lace. Heidi was also a favourite book of mine when I was growing up. I often think back on the Christmas that I received it. It was very special.
How wonderful to have classes of children that not only love your books but let you know that they do. It must give you such joy.

It certainly does bring me much joy, and makes the hard work of writing and promoting books worth it! I love that so many of us loved Heidi.

Heidi is a gorgeous story. But so are the Amanda stories. They bring joy to readers worldwide. That’s something to be proud of.

Thank you so much, Norah. So kind of you to say.

It is great to see kids identify with specific characters from books, even so great when the character has a positive comportment. I love it ❤

Jo from little women

Perfect! Another great character.

This is such a nice event. These should be encouraged to increase interest in reading among kids.

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