Revealed: The Most Popular Costume Ideas This World Book Day

Thought your Matilda idea was unique? Think again.
Catherine Delahaye via Getty Images

With World Book Day upon us – March 2, for those lucky enough to not have their child reminding them every five minutes – parents are once again busy scrambling for last-minute costume inspiration.

The day is all about celebrating the joy of reading. Parents often get to dress up their kids as their favourite book character. While this can work out quite well for some parents (especially if their kid loves Matilda, one of the easiest outfits to replicate), it can also result in some pretty elaborate costume attempts.

A recent study from retailer Next found UK parents spend over 87 hours getting their kids ready for themed days like World Book Day over the course of their time at Primary School. That equates to over 12 hours per school year, per child.

If you’re interested in what all the other parents are dressing their kids up as on Thursday, look no further. An analysis of Google and Pinterest search data found these are this year’s most popular children’s book character costumes:

  1. Matilda
  2. Paddington Bear
  3. Horrid Henry
  4. Willy Wonka
  5. Alice in Wonderland
  6. Mad Hatter
  7. Darth Vader
  8. Tintin
  9. Queen of Hearts
  10. Sherlock Holmes

A spokesperson at Next said: “Matilda characters are among the easiest and most popular costumes to replicate for the occasion. For these characters, a small tweak to a school uniform or added themed accessories can save parents a lot of time and money.”

Still stuck for inspo? You can find some helpful advice on pulling together a costume on the World Book Day website.

Some schools in Wales, south-east and south-west England, and London, will be closed or partially open on Thursday due to strike action, meaning World Book Day festivities may be cancelled or postponed.

If your child will be at home as a result, why not let them dress up anyway? You could even head to your local library, which might be hosting a themed event to mark the occasion.