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World Book Day: Love It Or Dread It?

Updated: Mar 7

By Jo Leigh, teacher, mum and Editor of Boom



This year on the 2nd March 2023, World Book Day celebrates its 26th Year of ‘changing lives through a love of books and shared reading’.


But It’s the one day in the school calendar that has the nation divided!

Parents across the country go into a panicked stupor when their kid comes home announcing they need a costume (and more often than not they only get this memo the day before!) Or… maybe not…maybe the parent is already ON IT, they know exactly what their child will wear, after all they have spent the last month planning this epic costume and it’s even better than last years!


So here’s my low-down on the nations World Book Day reaction… Have a giggle deciding which parent you are most like or maybe you’ve been all of them… a parents dedication to school activities can certainly change a lot from Reception to Yr 6!



The ‘all singing, all dancing’ parent…



The parent that wants nothing more than to see their child full of excitement for the day, adorned in accessories and a painstakingly home-stitched costume that is so unique you won’t find another kid in the country, let alone school with the same take on their book character.

This is the parent that’s spent hours of an evening researching Pinterest, ebay & fabric sites and scoured the charity shops for those finishing touches! Other parents don’t know whether to applaud them with admiration or roll their eyes with despair!


The ‘who’s got time for this?’ parent…



I hear it every year from fellow parents it goes something like this… “So & so has just told me they need a costume for this Friday, they want to go as Gangster Granny, how on earth am I meant to have time to sort this?” Then in true parent style somehow they pull together something, maybe a bit half-hearted, but passable in convincing their kid that a football kit must cover a character in one of David Walliams books somewhere. Or maybe their fellow tribe have come to the rescue via a cry for help on the parent WhatsApp thread with a mish mash of accessories… some beads, a wig, their daughters old school dress… or even a Where’s Wally costume, who cares, it will do!


The ‘love it – but kids won’t play along’ parent…



Well that’s me! I’ve always LOVED an excuse to get creative & theatrical and ABSOLUTELY LOVE fancy dress parties, so the challenge of preparing a World Book Day costume really gets me hooked in! BUT… for all my efforts my son has always blankly refused to dress up in any of my clever creations because, well quite frankly, he hates dressing up! The feel of the outfit and the attention-grabbing effects embarrass him. So refusing to give in, every year he gets a white t-shirt with his favourite book character painted on the front! And if you’re like me you’ll probably find yourself offering to help with the other kids outfits in the class too…any excuse to utilise all that dressing up you’ve collected over the years!



The ‘I didn’t know’ parent…



Despite being told on the newsletter, email & maybe even a school text message, there’s always that one kid in the class in their school uniform, the parents oblivious to this annual day of promoting all things books or maybe just happy to bypass all the silliness- after all it’s not the end of the world … or is it?

P.S. to this parent – it’s happening on the 2nd of March 2023!!



But hey – joking and stereotyping aside, WBD is just an opportunity to highlight the joy kids can get from books, so don’t sweat it just let them enjoy a different kind of day at school, where they have fun guessing each other’s costumes and get some down time from the usual busy curriculum!



Oh and in case you’re wondering, there’s a whole list of teacher types too… from the ones who turn up adorned from head to foot with wig and face paints thrown in, to the token onesie that makes its annual reappearance and of course the teacher who accidently on purpose forgot because dressing up is way too cringy and EYFS for them!

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