Toy and dress-up partners are lining up to celebrate this year’s World Book Day which will star Roald Dahl’s iconic Matilda Wormwood as the face of 15 million book tokens handed out to school children across the UK and Ireland.
World Book Day will take place on Thursday, March 7th and will find the child-genius at the heart of the celebrations, with her appearance on this year’s token just the beginning of a new partnership between World Book Day and The Roald Dahl Story Company.
The collaboration will continue throughout World Book Day as Roald Dahl’s Matilda will be this year’s Official World Book Day Bedtime Story. Viewers who tune into the Roald Dahl Facebook channels at 7pm on Thursday, March 7th will be able to watch an exclusive performance from the cast of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical, including a reading from the beloved book and a performance from the multi-award-winning musical.
For 2019, an expanded line-up of licensees will be supporting the annual celebrations at retail, led by dress up from Smiffys whose comprehensive range of costumes of Roald Dahl’s most-loved characters are available from Argos, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco and Smyths.
Wonka baby dress up is also exclusively available as part of the TU collection at Sainsbury’s.
Meanwhile, Dennicci is launching a Fantastic Mr Fox baby sleepsuit in George at Asda and supporting it with an influencer campaign giveaway, while Aykroyds is releasing a new style of Matilda PJs in M&S and an alternative option in George at Asda stores.
Character.com is also joining the celebrations with the launch of a kids range for boys and girls which includes PJs and t-shirts across favourite titles Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG.
Toy partner, Green Board Games will be launching its new versions of Roald Dahl Brainbox in time for World Book Day, and Winning Moves will be releasing its volume two of Top Trumps featuring new characters for Roald Dahl fans to enjoy.
Research has revealed that children’s reading for pleasure is in long-term decline. According to the National Literacy Trust, if every child left primary school with the reading skills they need, the UK economy could increase by £30 billion by 2025.
The Matilda focus for World Book Day plans falls within the wider activity for the Roald Dahl Story Company, which has dubbed 2019, “The Year of Matilda” in line with its hero publishing strategy – celebrating a different title from the author’s globally beloved and bestselling catalogue annually.
Celebrations to mark 30 years of Matilda kicked off in October 2018 and run through to the fourth quarter of 2019.
Penguin Random House has just released a new paperback edition of the novel featuring a brand-new holographic cover design as well as How to be a Genius, Matilda-inspired licensed publishing, which promises “brilliant tricks to bamboozle grown-ups”, and will be available in retailers throughout the UK and Ireland.