Check out our latest magazine... Read Online

World Book Day: Popular Children's Book Character To Visit Eastbourne Waterstones

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, is heading to Waterstones for a free-to-attend bookshop visit tomorrow (Saturday, March 2) ahead of World Book Day® celebrations on March 7.

World Book Day’s £1 book character Elmer, the iconic elephant from David McKee’s Elmer and the Patchwork Story, published by Andersen Press – which was selected with the help of children as one of this year’s 15 World Book Day books – will visit Waterstones Eastbourne, where children can meet the character and listen to a special reading of this year’s World Book Day book, designed to inspire them to discover joy in reading.

Attendees can also partake in a trail, which features 12 exclusive sculptures of Elmer created by artists across the UK. Setting off from Waterstones and venturing across Eastbourne town centre, children will need to find 12 letters which are hidden on the sculptures to reveal a special phrase. Once they have the phase, they will be awarded a prize.

Stephen Holt, CEO of Your Eastbourne BID, comments:

“World Book Day is so important, encouraging children to read. We are thrilled that this year’s celebrations will coincide with our art trail around the town.”

Read Your Way

This year, World Book Day’s Read Your Way campaign calls on everyone to let go of pressure and expectations, giving children a choice – and a chance – to enjoy reading. This is because reading for pleasure improves children’s life chances across a range of social, educational and well-being measures.[1] However, research from National Literacy Trust found that fewer than 1 in 2 (47.8%) children now say they enjoy reading[2]; this is the lowest level since 2005, and reading enjoyment is lowest among children from disadvantaged backgrounds.[3] 

One million children in the UK currently do not have a single book of their own at home,[4] and World Book Day’s £1/€1.50 books are often the first book many children will own. Sponsored by long-term partner National Book Tokens, World Book Day distributes over 15 million £1/€1.50 book tokens across the UK nations and Ireland every year through schools, nurseries, libraries, prisons and other charities, with the aim of ensuring every child has a book of their own.

Until Sunday, March 31, children can exchange their £1 book token for one of the 15 World Book Day books. The token can also be used as a £1 contribution to any other full-priced book or audiobook and can be exchanged at all participating retailers.

Cassie Chadderton, CEO of World Book Day said:

“We’re delighted that more children will have the opportunity to meet Elmer, and discover fun ways to engage with reading, through this bookshop visit! It will bring the excitement of reading to the heart of Eastbourne. What better way for them to discover the life-changing benefits of reading than to engage with the famous elephant first-hand.”

Visit for more information and don’t forget to Read Your Way this World Book Day!

*A blurb on the book is available below.


2 Children and Young People's Reading Research Report 2023 | National Literacy Trust

3 Children and Young People's Reading Research Report 2023 | National Literacy Trust

4 Book ownership in 2023 | National Literacy Trust

More from Community News