FREEDOM AND SAFETY
With schools closed due to COVID-19 and families stuck at home, books are more important than ever to stimulate minds and inspire hope. In fact, some research has found reading has surged in many households since lockdown restrictions have been put in place.
Today's World Book Day celebration - the first to occur with billions of people under lockdown - recognizes the key role books play in our lives.
Launched in 1995 by UNESCO, World Book Day celebrates the joys of reading, and the authors who have shaped our world.
Every year for the past two decades, UNESCO selects a new city to be the World Book Capital. The selection for 2020 is Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur, in recognition of the city’s major strides to improve access to education and reading facilities.
UNESCO is doing its part by sharing daily poems and stories, including pages from My Hero is You, a new children's book about COVID-19.
Aimed at 6- to 11-year-olds, the picture book features the fantasy creature Ario, who explains how we can protect ourselves from coronavirus and manage any feelings of uncertainty and confusion.
Co-produced by more than 50 humanitarian organizations, the book is available to read and download for free in more than 20 languages.