Entertainment & Arts

Clare Balding 'proud' to be £1 World Book Day author

Clare Balding, Julian Clary and Nadiya Hussain Image copyright BBC/Steve Ullathorne/Hodder
Image caption Left to right: Clare Balding, Julian Clary and Nadiya Hussain

Broadcaster-turned-author Clare Balding has said she's "very proud" to be one of the writers of the £1 titles for next year's World Book Day.

Balding's novella The Girl Who Thought She Was a Dog will be one of 11 books that young readers in the UK and Ireland will be able to claim.

"It's a way to reach children who don't have the access to books we assume they have," the TV presenter said.

Julian Clary and Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain are also writing new books.

Image copyright Egmont/Nosy Crow

Clary's title, The Bolds' Great Adventure, features characters from his popular series about hyenas pretending to be humans.

Nadiya's Bake Me a Story, meanwhile, is described as "a unique combination of storybook and cookbook... for all the family to enjoy".

McFly's Tom Fletcher, children's author Pamela Butchart and sports journalist Gerard Siggins are among the others writing titles aimed at children from pre-school to teenage years.

The list also includes books featuring the Mr Men, the late Michael Bond's much-loved Paddington Bear and Marvel superheroes The Avengers.

Image copyright Macmillan/Hodder

World Book Day books 2018

  • The Girl Who Thought She Was a Dog by Clare Balding, illustrated by Tony Ross
  • Paddington Turns Detective and Other Funny Stories by Michael Bond, illustrated by Peggy Fortnum
  • The Baby Brother From Outer Space! by Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Thomas Flintham
  • The Bolds' Great Adventure by Julian Clary, illustrated by David Roberts
  • Marvel's The Avengers: The Greatest Heroes by Alastair Dougall
  • Brain Freeze by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Shane Devries
  • Oi Goat! by Kes Grey by Jim Field
  • Terry's Dumb Dot Story: A Treehouse Tale by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
  • Mr Men: My Book About Me By Mr Silly, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves
  • Nadiya's Bake Me a Story by Nadiya Hussain, illustrated by Clair Rossiter
  • Rugby Roar by Gerard Siggins - Ireland only

The books can be obtained between 26 February to 25 March 2018 in return for £1 tokens that will be handed out in schools and nurseries.

World Book Day celebrated its 20th birthday in 2017, when more than 1.2 million £1 tokens were redeemed.

Balding told the BBC she felt honoured to be asked to participate, especially as she is "relatively new to the children's literature world".

The 46-year-old has written two novels to date about a 10-year-old girl who accidentally buys a horse.

"I just wish there'd been something like this when I was a child," said Clary, who called the scheme "a wonderful thing".

Image copyright HarperCollins
Image caption Paddington author Michael Bond died in June aged 91

World Book Day is customarily marked by children going to school dressed as their favourite fictional characters.

Balding said she found it "incredibly flattering" when children dressed up as her Charlie Bass character, while accepting "it can be a headache for parents".

Organisers, though, say they want parents, teachers and children "to go beyond dressing up".

A new initiative is #ShareAStoryIn10, which will see 10 authors and World Book Day ambassadors invite their followers to write 10-line stories via Twitter chains.

Clary, who will read out some of the stories on a Twitter live stream on Friday afternoon, called the notion "rather progressive and lovely".

"Everyone can join in," he told the BBC. "Kids are very au fait today with social media and all of that, so this is a way forward."

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