From the outside, World Book Day sounds like a marvellous initiative. Anything that celebrates books and children's reading, can't be bad, can it? Yet if you talk to any parent of a school age child, you will often find them rolling their eyes at the thought of it coming around again.
What causes this reaction? The infamous World Book Day costume, that's what. Liz from Living With Kids has already christened it World Book Day Costume Hell. She's not wrong.
Many primary schools in the UK choose to mark WBD by allowing children to come to class dressed as their favourite book character. Naturally, many parents immediately lose the note from school that notifies them of this event. The first we know of it is the night before, when your child decides that their favourite book is the most obscure one possible, for which no appropriate costume exists. And so you find yourself up at 3am sewing a wolf outfit.Last year, I thought I was organised when I bought a length of black fake fur and set to work making a Hairy Maclary costume. But after much cutting and sewing, my daughter pronounced it "too fluffy", and went as Roald Dahl's Matilda instead (luckily this only involved wearing a dress and carrying some heavy books).
This year my son informs me that he wants to be a caveman, and is planning to gather twigs to strap together to make a club?!? I have no idea what that's about, but at least the fake fur can now be recycled into a caveman outfit.
The next World Book Day is coming up soon, on Thursday 4th March. So do give it some thought this weekend, especially if your child has to dress up. Whatever you do, don't get caught up in competitive parenting. You don't have to produce a Shakespeare costume, complete with hand-sewn ruff. Spider-Man is OK too. There are lots of Spider-Man books around. Don't let fretting over the costume stop you and your family from enjoying the day.
What will your child be dressing up as for World Book Day?