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All the World’s a Stage

All the World’s a Stage

All the World’s a Stage image

On the 27 March it is World Theatre Day and to celebrate we have selected some of our favourite books and stories that have been performed as plays and musicals.

You can join in the fun too – choose some of your favourite books and think what they may be like if they became a show in a theatre…

  • Can you design a stage for your story?
  • Put your acting skills to the test and read aloud from your chosen books!
  • Go on a scavenger hunt around the house and see if you can create a costume or some props
  • You could even start writing the story as a script, so that you can put on your own show at home!

Grown ups can find more activity ideas in the All the World’s a Stage Chatterbooks resources pack.

Take a look at some of our World Theatre Day reading recommendations:


The Fabulous Foskett Family Circus by Quentin Blake and John Yeoman

Roll up, roll up for the Fabulous Foskett Family Circus!

There are Milly and Willy who perform with young Fred, who does a back flip and lands on his head. Uncle Phoenix Foskett who blows smoke rings, Jess and Bess with their conjuring tricks, not to mention singing dogs and birds and performing parrots.


Mary Poppins Up, Up and Away by Hélène Druvert

This charming book takes readers on a thrilling adventure through London with the most amazing of all nannies, Mary Poppins, as a guide.

Hélène Druvert’s intricate lasercuts and delicate illustrations show the city and its sights at their very best, and offer a wonderfully imaginative introduction both to London and to the world of Pamela L. Travers’ eternally popular Mary Poppins.


War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Before the Steven Spielberg film, before the National Theatre production, there was the classic children’s novel…

In the deadly chaos of the First World War, one horse witnesses the reality of battle from both sides of the trenches.

Bombarded by artillery, with bullets knocking riders from his back, Joey tells a powerful story of the truest friendships surviving in terrible times.

One horse has the seen the best and the worst of humanity. The power of war and the beauty of peace. This is his story.


The Sherlock Holmes Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained by David Stuart Davies and Barry Forshaw

The Sherlock Holmes Book chronicles every case of the world’s greatest detective and his assistant Dr Watson. The game is afoot and now you can discover every detail of Sherlock Holmes’ world.

From the first novel A Study in Scarlet, through to the masterpiece that is The Hound of the Baskervilles and the detective’s last story, The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place, The Sherlock Holmes Book explores every facet of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most memorable creation.

Discover how Holmes reaches his conclusions through deductive reasoning, plus in-depth biographies of key characters, from Holmes and Watson themselves to Inspector Lestrade, Mrs Hudson, and the detective’s arch-enemy Professor Moriarty.

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is a thrilling adventure for all ages – the story of the boy who refuses to grow up is a tale that never gets old.

It follows the Darling children, Wendy, John and Michael, who befriend the magical Peter and are whisked away to Neverland, where the villainous Captain Hook and the brave Lost Boys await.


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play received its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.


Looking for more inspiration? Click the book jackets to find out more about these reads:

Head over to Chat to share what you’ve been reading lately!

Information for adults


Visit our School Zone to access free resources and Challenge ideas for your class.


Visit our Home Zone, full of useful Challenge information for parents, grandparents and carers. For information about supporting reading in the early years visit our Pre-School Zone.


Visit our Library Zone to find libraries near you running the challenge, and how to take part.