Sitting next to me on my desk is a multi-coloured fluffy monstrosity. It’s in a bag fortunately, for if it wasn’t I fear my both my sight and sanity. It is Fifi’s reward for reading an entire chapter book over half term. We love reading and try to encourage our kids to grow their love of it by bribery.
And yet as World Book Day approaches, my Twitter timeline is full of retailers hawking Disney Princess costumes, Darth Vader suits and comic book superhero costumes for the inevitable “school dressing up day” that seems to be what World Book Day has become.
Rather than have parents panic about how to make their child look like a book character (ginger fright wig and go as Heidi? Inevitable Harry Potter knock off costume?) only to see them give up and send their child as Iron Man for the third year on the trot, why not drop the whole dressing up thing and spend the day more notably focused on fostering a genuine love of reading?
Currently number one child is confused as how to dress up like his favourite book character as he’s enjoying the Middle School books. The main protagonist is Rafe Khatchadorian, a child who dresses like a child would. He used to like the Tom Gates books and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books too, both of which featured a young school age protagonist. How do you dress up so you can be identified as that character? You can’t, you pick someone who is recognisable from a book you’ve either read and didn’t go on much or from a movie you’ve seen based on a book you might have read.
It’s a complete waste of time and a distraction from what is a great opportunity for kids to spend time with a good book in an environment where there aren’t the tech distractions that you have at home. Come on! Lets reclaim World Book Day from the fancy dress retailers!!!