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Your children have just handed you a letter from school, it says that they are participating in this year’s World Book Day – a celebration of reading.
While it’s certainly a fantastic reading event, you inevitably brace yourself for what’s coming: yes, your child will be obliged to dress up as a character from their favourite book! This means that you’ll have to think long and hard about which children’s fancy dress costumes are going to be right for your brood.
Never fear though. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, then here are a few ideas that might help:
Boys – infants
While it might be hilarious to dress your child as The Gruffalo or one of the Mr Men, it will certainly be easier to get hold of a Robin Hood, Dennis the Menace or Peter Pan costume. Young boys always love superheroes, so why not think Superman, Batman or even Zorro?
Girls – infants
Disney Princesses are always a favourite with the youngest girls, though of course the books and legends came long before the animated films, so you can rest assured that this option isn’t a cop-out! Snow White, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast all give some great characters. Tinkerbell is another popular choice. Fairies and princesses – anything pretty – will be a sure-fire winner.
Boys – middle school
Horrid Henry is one of the World Book Day books this year and also a huge favourite with children. This would also be quite an easy costume to pull together, necessitating a blue and yellow stripy jumper and blue jeans, plus scruffy hair. For the more daring, how about going as the titular fruit from James and the Giant Peach?
Girls – middle school
With the recent Tim Burton film adaptation, Alice in Wonderland is once again a good choice – it’s easy to pick up the blue dress and white apron combo online. Or how about Felicity Wishes, the blonde fairy that loves pink? Don’t forget the signature pink and white tights. Or maybe they’d prefer to go as one of the Rainbow Fairies – Ruby, Amber or Fern, perhap
Boys – juniors
A perennial favourite among both boys and girls in this age group is Harry Potter, thus dressing as the hero himself or simply sporting a Hogwarts uniform or Gryffindor cape will be easily recognisable. Alternatively, a character from The Lord of the Rings might be fun.
Girls – juniors
Go vintage and suggest a character from one of Enid Blyton’s books, whether George or Anne from The Famous Five or one of the girls from Malory Towers or St Clare’s – think old-fashioned school uniform with a blazer and a hat. Sticking with the 40s theme, how about Susan or Lucy from Narnia?
Essentially, there are hundreds upon hundreds of characters to choose from, whether they are your favourites or that of your child. Even the most seemingly difficult costume can be found online and you won’t have to slave away at a sewing machine, nor build up layers of papier mache to make it yourself.
The point, of course, is to emphasise the delights of reading to your child and maybe the process will reignite your own love of reading, leading you to rediscover some lost childhood treasures, too.
From Liz Smythe: who writes on behalf of kids fancy dress and World Book Day costume supplier A2Z-Kids.co.uk.