This term I’ve already had to deal with Superhero dress-up day and Victorian dress-up day. And we still have the celebrated (or rather dreaded) World Book Day to come.
Why I don’t like World Book Day costumes
The mention of World Book Day makes me break out into a cold sweat. I love getting lost in a good book. And I love sharing books from my childhood with my children, and discovering new ones. I love the idea behind World Book Day.
I do not love trying to turn a character from a page into a costume for my children to wear, that has to;
A. actually resemble the character from the book, and a book my child has actually read.
B. be fully functional so that my child can go to the toilet with relatively easy access.
C. Isn’t going to fall apart on the school run.
I am not a Pinterest perfect kind of Mum. I am a crap-at-crafts kind of Mum.
World Book Day costume mistakes
The first year I encountered World Book Day I was full of foolish optimism and naive stupidity. I thought I could do it myself. The topic for the term had been animals, so the children’s costumes were to reflect this theme. It was also Easter and I had seen bunny ears in the shop where children can buy anything they want – aka Poundland. How hard could a bunny costume be?
Bunny ears and some weird white fluffy material obtained, I began with the sewing. Several hours and 47 needle stabs later I had made my first costume. A grey top with a slightly wonky fur patch on the belly, and grey jeans with a furry bunny tail stitched onto the butt.
I was impressed.
The big one wasn’t. Reasons cited were:
1. The ears are pink. I hate pink. Pink is for girls (There may have been tears about the pink)
2. The tail hurts my bum when I sit down. (I may have sewn it on a bit low down)
3. I wanted to be an elephant. (I want to be a size 10, we can’t always get we want)
He was so unimpressed that photographic evidence was prohibited.
For my second World Book Day I called for reinforcements in the form of Amazon. I ordered him a Harry Potter cape. He looked the part. I even drew on a scar. He was very happy. Until he got to school and there were approximately 352 other Harry potter’s in the school playground. No prizes for originality here.
I recall a lot of arguments over the third year. Probably because my kid was coming at it from the angle of I love this book, therefore I want to be a Pug called Pugly, where as I was coming at it from the angle of, I have this astronauts costume, surely there is a book that features an astronaut.
So after three years of being crap, I finally had an ingenious idea. I am sharing my genius with you, so you can avoid all future potential World Book Day disasters. You’re welcome.
Here it is, in three simple steps…
Look for the kid with the most awesome and original World Book Day costume in your kids class. It’s the one that all the other kids are falling over themselves to get a look at, whilst simultaneously looking very disappointingly at you and your efforts.
Once you have located that kid, locate his/her parental. Done that? Good, now compliment him/her on their son/daughter’s costume, and ask him/her if they made it. The answer you are looking for is “Yes.”
You now have a year until the next World Book Day. That’s 365 days to make this person our new bff. Do whatever it takes. Compliments, wine, chocolates, play dates. Woo this person like they are Jason Momoa’s sister. Share birth stories, bond over your offspring, get them so drunk they reveal their deepest darkest secrets. Infiltrate yourself into their lives so that you become part of their family. Do them a ton of favours, look after their kids, paint their bathroom if you have too. But come this time next year you will be so embedded in this persons life that you won’t even have to ask the question. They will offer, “Would you like me to make little Johnny a costume for World Book Day?”
Hell yes. My work is done.
Good luck with your World Book Day costumes this year. May the needle thread on your first attempt.