World Book Day gets bigger every year. On the one hand this is excellent news. Anything that gets people, and especially kids, talking about and sharing books is fantastic. However, the dressing up thing can be a bit of a drag for time-poor, unimaginative parents with stubborn children.
This year, Toby’s school is fully embracing the fancy dress theme, encouraging all children to dress as their favourite character from their favourite book AND bring in a copy of the book too (so that should put a stop to all the Batmans and Supermans that regularly turn out).
Regular readers of this blog (that’ll be the two of you then) will realise that we are no strangers to a book in our house. Toby could have picked from a vast selection of characters from a wide range of books. So what was his response to the brief?
“We don’t have to dress up.”
Ok. So no marks for enthusiasm there. Except I was slightly concerned that he’d change his position the night before World Book Day, so I prodded a little more.
“I could go as Captain Rex!”
Yip Captain Rex, that famous character from that wonderful erm cartoon, Star Wars The Clone Wars. “But the character has to be from a book,” I pointed out.
“We’ve got a Clone Wars book on the Kindle.”
Toby always has an answer and he’s right we do, but you can’t bring that into school and it’s completely rubbish. On a positive note the Captain Rex costume is hanging up ready-made in the wardrobe so no effort is involved, and to make the character fit the theme, Toby will bring in a copy of the Star Wars annual. Classy. I also discovered that one of this year’s World Book Day £1 titles is a Star Wars story, so we almost look like we thought it all through. Almost.
Anyway, here are some slightly more bookish characters we could have picked for celebrating World Book Day.
- Hiccup, How to Train your Dragon series
We have really enjoyed Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon series and we’re currently working our way through How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury. Hiccup may even be my favourite character of all time: an unlikely leader who uses his fierce intelligence and unrelenting courage to deliver his vision for a better world. For those unfamiliar with the books, Hiccup is a viking. So all that would be required would be a shield and sword and helmet with some scruffy brown trousers and t-shirt and waistcoat. The character has been brought to life for screen so you could use the film for inspiration too.
Difficulty rating: 4/10 – if you don’t want to make or assemble anything you can always buy viking costume gear quite easily.
- Moonface, The Folk of the Faraway Tree
Enid Blyton’s Folk of the Faraway Tree is full of interesting characters to recreate for World Book Day. I would pick Moonface. He’s the character that stands out from my childhood readings of the book and visually, he’s pretty interesting. As the name suggests, this is all about creating a moon-shaped mask, and adding a quirky bow-tie as depicted in the book’s illustration.
Difficulty rating: 7/10 – one for creative, crafty types as you’ll struggle to find any ready-made costumes.
- The Twits
The Twits was one of Toby’s favourite Roald Dahl books, and you could have a lot of fun recreating either one of this gruesome twosome. You could let your imagination run a bit wild by adding all sorts of bits and pieces to Mr Twit’s big bushy beard.
Difficulty rating: 5/10 – Could probably be put together with stuff lying around the home or to be found in cheap craft shops.
- Horrid Henry
Horrid Henry has been a favourite in many a home including ours, and it’s fair to say this loathsome child has become a children’s fiction icon. You may not have to extend your imagination too far to imagine your child as Henry! All you need is a stripy blue and yellow jumper with some scruffy hair and you’re all set.
Difficulty rating: 2/10 -easy peasy!
- Stig of the Dump
Stig of the Dump is a classic that’s been loved by generations, so deserves an outing on World Book Day. A caveman outfit should be a simple way to depict Stig, accompanied by some interesting props of course.
Difficulty rating: 4/10 – fairly easy to interpret and recreate and if in doubt some ready-made caveman costumes can be purchased.