Today is World Book Day in the U.K., part of an international celebration that has reached out from between the covers to embrace streaming video, online games, YouTube videos and other digital ways to encourage a life-long love of reading.

A particular highlight of the day an event called The Biggest Book Show on Earth, which is being webcast for free to audiences around the world. StreamUK is providing a full end-to-end service for the event, from production, encoding and managing the live stream, to distributing the content to its interactive online video platform via the Level 3 content delivery network.

Among the authors and illustrators scheduled to participate are Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler, David Melling, Emma Chichester Clark, Korky Paul and Lydia Monks.The pre-school portion of the event begins at 9:30 a.m. GMT, and the primary portion (for older children) starts at 11:00 GMT.

Naomi Clemence, a teacher at Ruchill Autism Unit in Glasgow said the live stream will give children “a wider understanding of the process of writing a book and raise their interest in the work of other authors, perhaps inspiring them to choose books they would not have otherwise chosen.”

Another feature of World Book Day is Story Time Online, a collection of free videos that enable children to have a book read to them whenever they want and wherever they happen to be. Scrolling down the page shows that the stories are organized into five age categories: for children under 5, aged 5+, aged 7+, aged 9+, and over 11. Nicola Fenn of Aubergine Films helped make the videos possible, with Driftwood Treehouses and Creation Studio Productions also working on the project.

World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked every year in over 100 countries around the globe. The event is a partnership of publishers, booksellers and other interested parties who work together to promote books and reading for the personal enrichment and enjoyment of all. It originally was held on April 23, but each country is free to designate its own day in order to accommodate local holidays, religious observances and other considerations.

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