ISLAMABAD (Agencies) A large number of children including students of the twin cities thronged National Book Foundation (NBF) on the inaugural day of Children Book Fair held in connection with the Universal Childrens Day, Friday. The book fair was unique in the sense that it was marked by a number of activities aimed at boosting reading habits among children as well as entertaining them with story reading sessions, funny cartoons and humorous poems. Prominent publishers and book-sellers set up their stalls of books on a wide range of subjects for children. They offered up to 30pc discount on their books. NBF offered 40pc on its books put on display on the occasion. Writers of the children stories Parveen Haq, Fouzia Minahallah, Dr Iftikhar Khokhar and Rizwana Syed Ali, cartoonist Nigar and poet Ahmed Hatib Siddiqui delighted children by reading out stories and poems to them. Federal Minister for Education Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani inaugurated the book fair. Managing Director NBF Mazharul Islam, NBF Book Ambassadors Farah Hussain, Shabnam Shakil and Mrs Rana Seerat also shared their childhood memories with children and asked them to get maximum pleasure out of reading books. In his address to the children, Education Minister while appreciating the NBF for holding the book fair announced that every year the most prolific child reader would be given award on behalf of the National Book Foundation. He commended the NBF book- oriented initiatives including setting up book clubs at hospitals, railway stations, jails and airports. He asked the children to establish live contact with books. By spreading light of education, can we counter darkness of ignorance, intolerance and terrorism, he said. MD NBF Mazharul Islam who himself is an acclaimed writer of short stories in his speech highlighted the importance of book in a childs life. Books stand their ground and give us a deep knowledge and clear perception of things in this age of computer sciences, he said. He counted a number of initiatives taken by NBF for the promotion of reading culture among children. NBF Book Ambassador Farah Hussain shared with children her childhood memories saying books help a child discover new worlds. Noted poetess and NBF Book Ambassador Shabnam Shakil commented that book could be used as an effective tool against violence. Rana Seerat asked the children to organic link with books. She urged the government to include interesting stories for children in the curriculum. Earlier, Fouzia Minallah read out her stories to the visually impaired children with the help of audio-aids. She also read out her popular story Sadako ki Dua to children. Children enjoyed themselves with Nigar Nazars funny cartoons (which of course had a social message for them) and Ahmed Hatib Siddiquis humorous poem Yeh bat samajh main Ayee Nahi. They were also amused to see their favourite characters Chacha Chhakan, Tot Batot and Watayo Faqeer that appeared on the stage one by one during a talk by Dr Iftikhar on Popular Characters of Childrens Character. A large number of students of the twin cities along with their teachers and parents visited various stalls and shoed keen interest in books put on display there. Parliamentary Secretary for Education Gul Mohammad Jakhrani also attended the ceremony. The book fair will continue on Saturday (today).