Join the 'Celebration of Reading' on World Book Day

28 February 2019

Join the 'Celebration of Reading' on World Book Day

Thursday 7th March is World Book Day, a “celebration of authors, illustrators, books and a celebration of reading.”

We will be joining the celebrations by launching a competition over on our Facebook page, where we have a selection of 18 beautiful books up for grabs. Enter to win them for your little ones, or to donate to your local NICU or PICU library, so that other families may enjoy the comfort and sense of normalcy that reading can bring, especially during difficult times.

The Power of Reading
The importance of reading to babies has been widely reported, and there are benefits for parents as well as infants. From helping strengthen the bonding process between parent and child, to aiding babies brain development ... this applies to those babies born prematurely too. Reading aloud to babies in the neonatal unit is a simple, yet powerful act, and is something that all parents can do for their child, whilst allowing them to feel more involved in their baby's care.

Last year in the run up to World Book Day, we caught up with Senior Charge Nurse Tracy Clinton from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow. Tracy told us about the reading programme that had been established there to help parents and babies on the neonatal unit, she said:

“When a baby is first admitted to NICU, the normal interactions that occur between them and their parents are interrupted and through no choice of their own, families are forced into a highly stressful, high tech, clinical environment. It is an extremely challenging time for them all, so encouraging parents to read, talk or sing to their baby is a way to help alleviate some of that stress.”

Book Recommendations
With this in mind, we asked parents of NICU graduates to share their thoughts on their experience of reading to their little ones when they were in the neonatal unit, and to share their book recommendations. We spoke with Skye’s mum Sarah, Nathan’s mum Annette and Sophie’s Dad Jack. Using their recommendations, and Tracy's, we compiled our own Top 10 list of books for NICU readers for you to take inspiration from.

Our World Book Day Competition
To win a bundle of beautiful children's books, keep your eyes peeled to our Facebook page on March 7th for your chance to win. Here is the full list of goodies we will be giving away to one lucky winner:

- Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
- Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
- Always in My Heart by Roisin Hahessy
- The Large Family Collection by Jill Murphy, including the following 5 books: Five Minutes' Peace, A Quiet Night In, A Piece of Cake, Mr Large in Charge and All In One Piece.
- The Julia Donaldson Picture Book Collection including the following 10 books: The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child, Cave Baby, The Smartest Giant in Town, Tyrannosaurus Drip, The Paper Dolls, A Squash and a Squeeze, Room on the Broom, Charlie Cook's Favourite Book and The Snail and the Whale.

And here is last year’s World Book Day competition winner, Siobhan, with her little ones and their prize :) Good luck!