World Book Day….

…. has taken over my week! Like most schools in the UK, both the boys school and the one where I work encourage children and staff to dress as a character from a book for World Book Day. And if you are a regular reader you will know that we don’t go in for shop bought costumes here in Patchland. If you are going to dress up, it’s all about using things you already have, adapting them or making things. It’s about picking out the key elements of a character and finding things to match. Yes, it does create a lot of work and some stress but you do end up with a costume that is unique… no-one else will look exactly like you even if they are dressed as the same character. I have a love/hate relationship with World Book Day…. I love books and passionately believe in inspiring children to read and encouraging their love of books…. but I hate the scramble to sort out the costumes. I’m sure most parents do.

Of the stack above, two are the boys current bedtime books. Big J is currently loving Icefire (so are Mummy and Daddy!!) and Little J is immersed in The Famous Five (he’s asking if there is anything secret under the kitchen floor and if they can learn semaphore at Beavers!). Our chosen books for World Book Day this year were these…


Little J has loved Paddington for a while, long before the recent movie came out. Like most costumes it’s potentially an easy one… if you have the right things. We didn’t so I had to put my sewing skills to good use. I added toggles to his hoodie and covered an old hat with red felt. In his suitcase he has a jar of marmalade, some marmalade sandwiches and Paddington’s diary.

Big J, similarly, has loved the How To Train Your Dragon series for a long time. He has asked several times to be Hiccup, the Viking anti-hero of the story, but we’ve never managed to do it. This is the last time he will be dressing up for World Book Day so I thought I better get on and do it for him. I had a truly fun time (not) sewing the fun fur (tufts of it kept blowing around the kitchen floor and I kept seeing it out of the corner of my eye and thinking it was a spider) and then constructed and painted his shield. I did try to get them to join in and help me but they had other more important things to do!!!

I did manage to have a costume myself this year. I am last in the line for costumes so often don’t manage it. I went as Burglar Bill with a stripy blue and white t-shirt, mask, flat cap and swag bag…. sorry to disappoint but no photo!!!

I spotted on the webs that Sainsburys had done a survey and published a list of 50 books that every child should read before they are 16. Here’s the list…

  1. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory- Roald Dahl
  2. Alice in Wonderland- Lewis Carroll
  3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe- C.S. Lewis
  4. Winnie The Pooh- A.A.Milne
  5. Black Beauty- Anna Sewell
  6. James and The Giant Peach- Roald Dahl
  7. The BFG-Roald Dahl
  8. A Bear Called Paddington- Michael Bond
  9. Treasure Island- Robert Louis Stevenson
  10. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn- Mark Twain
  11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
  12. Matilda- Roald Dahl
  13. The Railway Children- E. Nesbit
  14. Oliver Twist- Charles Dickens
  15. Five on a Treasure Island- Enid Blyton
  16. The Wind in the Willows- Kenneth Grahame
  17. The Very Hungry Caterpillar- Eric Carle
  18. The Jungle Book- Rudyard Kipling
  19. Charlotte’s Web- EB White
  20. The Tale of Peter Rabbit- Beatrix Potter
  21. Watership Down- Richard Adams
  22. The Hobbit -J.R.Tolken
  23. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- J.K. Rowling
  24. Lord of the Flies- William Golding
  25. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾ Sue Townsend
  26. Great Expectations- Charles Dickens
  27. The Cat in the Hat- Dr Seuss
  28. The Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson-Burnett
  29. The Diary of a Young Girl- Anne Frank
  30. The Twits – Roald Dahl
  31. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz- L. Frank Baum
  32. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
  33. Anne of Green Gables- L.M.Montgomery
  34. The Tiger Who Came to Tea- Judith Kerr
  35. Green Eggs and Ham-Dr Seuss
  36. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
  37. Bambi- Felix Selten
  38. Tom’s Midnight Garden- Phillipa Pearce
  39. Little House on the Prairie- Laura Ingalls Wilder
  40. Funny Bones- Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  41. Where The Wild Things Are- Maurice Sendak
  42. Carrie’s War- Nina Bawden
  43. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
  44. The Magician’s Nephew- C.S. Lewis
  45. The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman
  46. The Story of Doctor Dolittle- Hugh Lofting
  47. The Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson
  48. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
  49. Curious George- H.A.Ray
  50. Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

As with most of these list type things, there are a few in there that I wouldn’t consider classic children’s books, some of them are more remembered for their films, like The Wizard of Oz. And there are of course some I would consider classics that are missing, like The Gruffalo. Despite that, we have either already read or have most of them in the house to read, and it’s something to work towards. Perhaps we shall have to compile our own list. Very pleased to see my own personal childhood favourite is there…. The Little House on the Prairie.

What was your childhood favourite? Or what would you like to see on the list that’s missing??


14 thoughts on “World Book Day….

  1. Goodness, that list took me back. I was a huge bookworm back in the day. I wish my daughter would read like I did at her age. It seems that despite a story read to her every single night she now turns to technology instead of a paperback😔

    • Big J is the same but struggles with dyslexia so I can understand it. He listens to audiobooks though and we still read to him. Little J is different, hoping we can get him into reading to himself soon, but he’ll still get a bedtime story.

  2. Great costumes. Isn’t fur fabulous to work with? hahaha Sorry not to see a pic of you 😦
    Not a bad list, but I’m surprised to see so much Dahl on it. He’s hugely overrated (imho).

  3. Two books I especially loved that aren’t on the list are ‘The Princess and the Goblin’ and ‘The Princess and Curdie” by George MacDonald. I’d leave off ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding. I have only recently read it and think it’s a dreadful book, terribly unrealistic and boring.

  4. Wow, you must have the patients of a saint making their costumes! They both look very pleased and I hope they had a fun day at school. My childhood favorite, was The Lion, The Witch and The wardrobe. But I did read most of the famous five to my kids as they grew up and of course the whole family read the Harry Potters 😊

    • They had a brilliant day Big J didn’t want to take it off. He loved the movies but has not read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe yet. We have a copy and it’s definitely on our to read list. Some of the Potters have been read and we have some to look forward to. Nothing beats a good book.

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