School book parties could win a prize

Anthony Cooper, author of The Curious Tale of the Dodo

On Thursday (March 7), millions of children all over the world will be celebrating the joy of reading thanks to the 22nd annual World Book Day.

And the children’s educational charity Inspire Schools is supporting the festivities with a competition run as part of its reading reward scheme Buster’s Book Club.

The scheme uses a series of fun reading challenges throughout the year to get pupils excited about spending more time at home reading for pleasure. Prizes include tickets to attractions like Leeds Castle, Brighton Sea Life Centre, Diggerland, Summerfields Leisure, Historic Dockyard Chatham, and Wildwood – as well as books and visits from storytellers.

To enter the World Book Day competition, all schools have to do is email the charity some photographs and an explanation of what the school did for the phenomenon that is World Book Day.

The first 10 entries will receive a signed copy of ‘The Curious Tale of the Dodo’, a cautionary eco tale written in rhyme, by Kent author Anthony Cooper. The story has also been adapted into an animation narrated by conservationist and former Springwatch presenter Bill Oddie.

And the best entries will be featured on the ‘Phil and Ted’s Excellent Adventures’ blog – starring Phil Gallagher (a.k.a. CBeebies’ Mister Maker) and Inspire Schools mascot Ted the Bear.

Kathy Beel, literacy co-ordinator for Buster’s Book Club, said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing the photographs and reading about the wild and wacky things going on in schools to celebrate reading.

“From fancy dress contests to author visits – we’re interested in any and all activities relating to the wonderful world of books and stories.”

She added: “We’re grateful to Anthony for donating the copies of his book, which is a colourful tale for children to enjoy while learning an important lesson about taking care of the environment.”

Entrants must ensure that any pupils visible in photographs have suitable permissions from their parents or guardians. Images will be published on the Inspire Schools website and social media including Twitter and Facebook and may feature in local newspapers.

Email entries to Kathy at and find out more about Buster’s Book Club at

Organisations supporting Buster’s Book Club include the Kent, Medway, East Sussex, and Bexley councils, along with Specsavers, Rotary, Golding Vision (part of Golding Homes), Orbit housing, Kent Community Foundation, Sussex Community Foundation, Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm, The Education People, 3D Recruit, Crown Foundation, Hornby, and Acorns Read and Grow.

The Curious Tale of the Dodo is part of the Don’t Do The Dodo brand, which aims to promote an eco-friendly lifestyle in a fun and accessible format and donates 50 per cent of profits to environmental organisations. Discover more at

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