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?