There’s a rather curmudgeonly story by Dominic Casciani, on the BBC’s website, where he takes a dim view of the costume wearing side of World Book Day. He’s of the opinion that WBD has ceased to be about reading, and is now all about the dressing up.
I couldn’t disagree with him more.
Although the local schools have non-school uniform today, they also have authors visiting, and illustrators, and the day is all about BOOKS. Granted, children love dressing up, but I don’t think that’s all they take from the experience. Across the country, schools are holding special events and activities – book based activities. If dressing up adds to the excitement, then so much the better. Costumes can be home-made, or shop bought, and since lots of characters in contemporary books wear ‘normal’ clothes, they can come straight out of your child’s wardrobe.
But looking back, and ignoring the years when they were Rainbow Fairies or Disney Princesses, my girls made some really interesting costume choices. They have been:
- Araminta Spook, a spooky little girl who lives with weird relatives, bats and ghosts, by wonderful children’s author Angie Sage.
- Harry Potter. Yes, that’s right. Not Hermione. Harry.
- Stephanie from Skulduggery Pleasant, a real kickass heroine, with a nice line in sarcasm.
- And my favourite of all, complete with big red beard and an angry fairy with a frying pan – Mr Gum. I really, really loved that costume.
This year, being a lot older, the girls opted for Bella from Twilight, and Grace from the Shiver trilogy – both contemporary outfits. Not a lot of planning was involved, and this seemed to be the trend for the older children. Walking the dog, I saw several Katnisses, dressed in jeans and hoodies, indistinguishable from normal weekend clothes, not a bow and arrow in sight.
But I had to smile when I passed a Wally, of Where’s Wally fame. Such a simple outfit. Sheer genius. And it featured hilariously in episodes of Miranda.
I’m all for dressing up for WBD. It’s fun. It’s book related. And it’s memorable, for the parents and the children.
Who knows…..maybe one day, kids might dress up as a character from one of my books…..