World Book Day – a plea


This World Book Day (March 1) you can do something different AND help out a child who really needs it.

You see, I’m afraid I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to World Book Day costumes.

Yes, I know parents are busy and that sometimes it might be easier to stick your kid in his Spiderman pyjamas with a warm coat on top, but please…

This is an annual, worldwide, celebration of reading. Of books.  Of stories.  It is meant to encourage a love of everything to do with books, and dressing up as a favourite character is a brilliant way of underlining that.  Which means that wearing a costume from Frozen is – and I’m sorry to come over all Miss Jean Brodie – just not good enough.  Even if there is a spin-off book somewhere on sale by the check-out.  TV shows likewise.  And comic-book characters.  Yes, I know “comic-book” has “book” in it, but you know – in your heart – you are cheating.  (And I say this as an admirer of graphic novels.  I suppose, if your child has only ever read comics then it’s better than nothing, but can you tell that this is a grudging concession?  Partly because I suspect that most kids who want to dress up as a superhero are familiar with particular character not from anything on a page, but on a screen.)

Anyway, with that off my chest, here is my plea:

Don’t buy a costume!

PLEASE don’t buy a costume.

If you were going to buy a costume, do something else.  Give the money to Book Aid International instead.

This is a charity that provides books of all kinds to some of the poorest children in the world.  That £15 for a cheap supermarket costume could make a big difference to another child’s life.  Even if you are cleverly recycling a Halloween costume for a Harry Potter or Worst Witch theme, then please consider making a donation anyway.

Their website has some brilliant ideas for home-made costumes.

Like many authors, I’m busy all next week visiting schools.  I love seeing all the costumes!  Sometimes the teachers go to the most extraordinary lengths.  Favourites from past years include a very small girl who spent all day dressed as a giant peach, a memorable Hagrid on dangerous-looking built-up shoes, and a head teacher as a marvellous Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Have fun – and happy reading!

Pictures courtesy Book Aid International

Back to blog

Time Travelling With A Hamster

My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty nine, and again four years later when he was twelve.

More Info

What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible

Turning invisible at will: it’s one way of curing your acne. But far more drastic than 13 year-old Ethel Leatherhead intended when she tried a combination of untested medicines and a sunbed.

More Info

The 1,000-year-old Boy

There are stories about people who want to live forever. This is a story about someone who wants to stop.

More Info

The Dog Who Saved The World

Coming soon

More Info