World Book Day. How i do not love you #oneweek

Its that time of year that strikes fear into a mother’s heart. The letter home from school that announces with a chirpy style ‘ we are allowing the children to get dressed up for world book day!’

I have come over the years to really really not like world book day. I love books, i think reading is a thing of great importance and beauty and must be encouraged. The concept of world book day is an awesome one. What is has morphed into in the world of primary school kids is a bloody thorn in my side. It makes me laugh out loud that the letters are always quick to sternly point out..’please do not go out and buy anything..whatever you have lying around the house will be fine’



The school my kids go to decided to only allow the kids to dress up in a certain type of costume. The younger kids ‘had’ to come as either a princess or a pirate..and the two older year groups had to come as something from Peter Pan. Now call me an old cynic but isnt the idea behind something called ‘world book day’ surely designed to display and showcase the colourful and varied books that kids read and lets face it there are not many 11 year olds (my son) who would be reading and enjoying Peter Pan? Sort of squashes the kids own creativity i think..never mind the fact that some kids might actually want to come in as a character from a book they enjoy?

The ‘dont spend any money’ comment irks me somewhat. Firstly I am not, myself, massively handy with the old sewing machine and secondly I don’t have too many pirate type things lying around the house. Having a son who has always hated any sort of dressing up,  he always asks me why he can’t just go as himself to these sort of things, I have very little dressing up clothes at my disposal. Then there is the whine and request from my four little girls who all want to go as Queen Elsa from Frozen because their best friend is going as her and she just ‘has’ to be the same. uh -huh..yeah that will be the dress that is £40 in the Disney store ( no they didn’t get it!)

It is a total headache and a cash cow for the supermarkets, who around this time of year start expanding their dressing up ranges so that we can all go in and lay down the cash so that my daughter can go to school as a pirate in an outfit off the shelf that will be worn once and then unlikely see the light of day for a good while..until the next world book day i guess providing they are allowed to come as pirates! *eye roll*

I know it is a bit bah humbug of me but i feel that surely a day that celebrates literature should be, at the very least, about actual books, stories and the writing of amazing literature rather than just about how many Buzz Lightyear costumes can fly off the shelves? and actually those Toy Story characters? a book? really? Not a screenplay written for a very successful and enjoyable movie series…yes….but not a book?

What about the kids bringing in their favourite book? a book swop? having a writing stories class with a writer for the older kids. That would be something the kids gain from surely?  Opening their minds to the world of literature without having to wear a costume all day and line the fat pockets of the supermarkets even more? Then of course there is the delightful side issue to these sort of days which is the over -competitive parents who kids waltz through the school gates in the morning looking like they have just come from their own hair and make-up department on the set of a movie. You know who they are…yeah…they are everywhere and not just in world book day.

When one of my kids was in reception they had to do a ‘build your own house’ out of boxes etc. We give our kids the stuff and tell them to get stuck in. One year, i kid you not, there was a model of a lighthouse with a working tiny sized lightbulb!!

You see what we are up against? 😉

I am ALL for celebrating literature with bells on and i love that kids should be allowed to let their imagination run away with them if they want to add an outfit to their world book day…but the yearly nightmare that has become the dress up for world book day i think is missing the point by a country mile. in my opinion. 🙂

One of my little misses working a dorothy/madonna wig/lazy town combo.

and why not?

one week



  1. March 10, 2014 / 2:53 am

    We don’t do world book day, but we have a multitude of ‘days’ throughout the year, green spirit day, Red Sox day, crazy hair, crazy hat, Hawaiian… I kid you not! As if we didn’t have enough to worry about 🙂 Loving the Stephanie wig! #oneweek
    Sara (@mumturnedmom) recently posted…One Week: Winter 2014: JoyMy Profile

  2. March 10, 2014 / 8:47 am

    Like you, I love the concept, but I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that it was on a Thursday, and Boo isn’t at preschool that day – yay no costume hassles! But, they are having a ‘fairy tale day’ next month, on a day that she is there…!
    The Reading Residence recently posted…A Letter For DaddyMy Profile

  3. March 10, 2014 / 8:47 am

    I am sure kids had a wonderful world book day… The girl looks so adorable.
    MumLee recently posted…At art exhibition!My Profile

  4. March 10, 2014 / 10:50 am

    She looks wonderful in her combo outfit, children do love an excuse to dress up and world book day is an excellent one #MagicMoments
    Coombemill recently posted…March News from Coombe Mill FarmMy Profile

  5. March 10, 2014 / 11:11 am

    I panicked a bit this year thinking Zs nursery was having world book day. Then breathed a sigh of relief when I found out they weren’t. Then panicked when one of the staff said they’ll do it next year!

  6. March 10, 2014 / 1:59 pm

    Oh I just love that photo Sarah, she looks great too. I like the idea of World Book Day but it sounds like such a headache especially when you can’t choose what your character. Love the idea of a book swop and far cheaper. Great post, thank you for sharing with #whatsthestory

  7. March 10, 2014 / 5:47 pm

    Love the picture…. and I am so with you on this post; I don’t think it’s right that the school should be dictating the outfits and characters, it dampens the kids imaginations – surely it would be best if children went as the characters they love. Thank you for linking up. X

  8. March 10, 2014 / 8:11 pm

    I agree that too much ends up by being commercial and divorced from common sense, but on boom day I disagree. The pickle loves the pippi longstocking books so guess what she went as…the biggest difficulty was insisting in lights out that evening when she wanted to reread (or rereread) the whole book.
    Sarah Dawnay recently posted…#oneweek Miracle mirepoixMy Profile

  9. March 13, 2014 / 8:09 pm

    I’ve just been offered a fancy dress review so have got a Harry Potter cape so in years to come I am sorted. There will be no choice in what they go as!
    Louise Perry Fairweather recently posted…Giveaway: DegustaboxMy Profile

  10. March 17, 2014 / 10:06 pm

    I’ve been watching all the tweets about world book day and laughing, but then it’s only one more year until we have to face it too.
    A work colleague sent his son as a character from star wars, I did point out that was actually a film and not a book 🙂

  11. Allison Ainscough
    May 19, 2014 / 10:18 pm

    I totally agree. Lets start a campaign to boycott dressing up on world book day!!

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