World Book Day celebrates all things literature and illustrations and is a great way to inspire your kids to pick up a book and start reading.

This year, World Book Day is held on Thursday, March 3 and it is marking its 25th anniversary. 

Whether your mini you will be running around as their favourite Roald Dahl character or will be casting spells like they're in Harry Potter, here's how you can take their imagination that step further.

Waterstones has rounded up its must-read children's books for 2022 which features everything from Young Adult fiction to picture books.

There is also a line of 12 books that are available to buy with a £1 World Book Day token - find out more via the World Book Day website.

Get them reading this World Book Day and beyond with these recommendations.

The Children's books you need to read this World Book Day

The Leader: Children's books in a pile with a colourful mug on top. Credit: CanvaChildren's books in a pile with a colourful mug on top. Credit: Canva

Teenage and Young Adult

Beasts of Prey

Author: Ayana Gray

"With echoes of The Gilded Ones and Witches Steeped in Gold, Gray's Pan-African mythological fantasy sets a magical girl and a would-be warrior in pursuit of a vicious monster that plagues their city," Waterstones said.

The special edition paperback is available for £6.99 from the Waterstones website.

The Balloon Thief

Author: Aneesa Marufu

"Featuring airborne adventure and wicked djinn spirits, Marufu's exhilarating YA debut finds a sixteen-year-old fleeing an arranged marriage in a hot air balloon - and into a dangerous world of magic and curses," Waterstones described.

The exclusive paperback could be yours for £6.99 via the Waterstones website. 

All That's Left In The World

Author: Erik J Brown

"Perfect reading for fans of Wranglestone, Brown's atmospheric debut merges queer love story with post-apocalyptic thriller as two boys flee the many dangers unleashed after the Superflu wipes out most of humanity," Waterstones reviewed.

The signed paperback edition is an exclusive Waterstones offer at just £6.99 via the Waterstones website.

Picture Books

The River

Author: Tom Percival

"Few children's authors can get to the heart of their readers' emotions as deftly as Tom Percival, and in The River the author-illustrator of The Invisible and Ruby's Worry finds the perfect metaphor to explore a young boy's ever-changing feelings," Waterstones commented.

Add it to your basket for £5.99 via the Waterstones website.

John Agard's Windrush Child

Author: John Agard

Illustrator: Sophie Bass

"Award-winning poet John Agard’s lyrical, important poem Windrush Child is brought to life for young readers in this vibrant picture book beautifully illustrated by Sophie Bass," Waterstones said.

The signed bookplate edition is to be released on March 10 and the hardback copy can be pre-ordered for £12.99 via the Waterstones website.


READ MORE: World Book Day kids fancy dress costumes from Sainsbury's, Matalan, Disney and more

READ MORE: Waterstones reveals Children's Book Prize 2022 shortlist - How to buy


The Comet 

Author: Joe Todd- Stanton

"Once more using the magical and the inspiring to explore themes that are highly relevant to real children, Joe Todd-Stanton weaves a touching, compassionate story about moving home and finding your feet in new places," Waterstones reviewed.

The signed hardback edition is available from World Book Day for £12.99 and can be bought via the Waterstones website.

Younger Fiction

Isadora Moon gets the Magic Pox

Author: Harriet Muncaster

"The adorable Isadora Moon returns in a typically riotous story of fake illness and spells gone horribly awry as our heroine desperately tries to avoid a dreaded maths test," Waterstones described.

This paperback book can be yours for £4.99 via the Waterstones website.

Ambrose Follows His Nose

Author: Dick King-Smith and Josie Rogers 

"Marking 100 years since Dick-King Smith's birth, this typically charming and gently funny tale begun by the late, great children's author and completed by his great-granddaughter Josie Rogers, revolves around a bunny with incredibly powerful nostrils," Waterstones commented.

Add a hardback copy to your basket for £10.99 via the Waterstones website.


Author: Nadia Shireen

"The acclaimed picture book author embarks upon a seriously silly series for middle grade readers featuring two runaway foxes, a ferocious street-cat called Princess Buttons and a wild wood packed full of hilariously weird animal characters," Waterstones reviewed.

The exclusive paperback edition is available for £5.99 via the Waterstones website.