World Book Day is round the corner - this year the date for dressing up your primary school children as their favourite fictional characters is 2nd March, mercifully a Thursday. This will give the less organised amongst us a small buffer to cut a hole in a sheet somewhere between late Monday night (when you retrieve the reminder from the bottom of the book bag) and early Thursday morning (when the need for dressing up is casually mentioned over the Corn Flakes).
If you can, try to get your child involved in what they would like to wear the weekend before the event. Not only will this avoid the stress of the WBD morning scramble, it will mean that any shoddiness in the costume’s design can be blamed on your charming child (as opposed to your slovenly parenting style). We would advocate for some subtle adult touches: a red scar drawn under an unruly fringe will make for a fabulously authentic last minute Harry Potter; a hastily applied bandage around the head plus a blue T-shirt and behold, Mr Bump. And how about those life-saving characters who wear normal clothes? Charlie Bucket, step this way. Or pyjamas? Blue and white striped ones for Tom in Tom’s Midnight Garden, or a pink nightie for Sophie in the BFG. Owners of a blue striped top just need a pillow case full of sway to be Burglar Bill, red stripes and you have an instant Where’s Wally or Dave in Shirley Hugh’s Dogger. Think laterally and the world is your last-minute oyster.
But in your frenzy to sort out a costume, and however furious you may feel about parental peer pressure, bear in mind that World Book Day is a truly marvellous thing. With reading for pleasure at an all-time low amongst the under 18’s (fewer than 1 in 2 say that they enjoy reading) and with 1 in 10 children receiving free school meals owing a book of their very own, the charity’s mission to encourage children to develop a life-long love of reading has never been more relevant. Reading with a child for just 10 minutes will nurture a positive interest in books, something which has been proven to impact their life chances: as the charity says, “reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success- more than family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income.” Every year, over 54K books are donated to World Book Day via the National Literacy Trust, meaning that every school-aged child has the chance to redeem their World Book Day voucher and buy a book of their own.
If an evening sweating over glue and tinsel is what it takes to get your child inspired to read for pleasure, we think that this is a price worth paying.
For more information on World Book Day visit www.worldbookday.com
Turn a space at home into a cosy reading corner and enjoy moments (& whole afternoons) lost in a good book.Read more