Celebrated on the first Tuesday in March in the UK and Ireland, and on 23 April in other countries, World Book Day is an annual celebration of books, authors and illustrators. It has become tradition in many schools for children to dress up as their favourite book character – the reminder memo greeted with either gusto or terror by parents.
Here are five of our favourite fictional characters, with ideas for easy outfits you can create at home. So, whether you’re a whizz with a sewing machine or you wave your child off in an outfit held together with sticky tape, they will all look and feel like literary legends. There’s a Folio edition of each book, so your child can read the story and take inspiration from the beautiful illustrations before World Book Day.
Matilda from The Roald Dahl Collection
This is the perfect choice if your child wears a school pinafore or owns a blue dress. Accessorise with a white cardigan, white ankle socks and a red hair ribbon; and, of course, our gorgeous edition of Matilda, from the second of our Roald Dahl Collection sets.
Peter Rabbit from The Tales of Beatrix Potter
If you raid the recycling and can fashion a pair of bunny ears from cardboard, then you can transform your child into the easily recognisable Peter Rabbit. Attach the ears to a headband, use cotton wool for a tail, and finish with a blue jacket, shirt or cardigan.
Cruella De Vil from The Hundred and One Dalmatians
There’s some flexibility here, so you should be able to rustle up a suitable costume by digging deep into drawers and wardrobes. A Cruella wig or temporary hair dye are essential to create her distinctive coiffure but beyond that, a long flowing dress and a fluffy coat or cardigan are the main costume components. Long black or red gloves are the icing on the cake.
Peter Pan from Peter Pan and Wendy
Here’s another Peter but the theme is green for the boy who never grows old. Team up green leggings, trousers or tracksuit bottoms with an oversized green t-shirt and tie, and a brown belt or cord around the waist. A cone hat made from green paper or cardboard will complete the costume.
The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland
If you don’t happen to have a top hat in the dressing-up box, you’ll need your craft scissors for this outfit. Cut out a large rectangle and circle from cardboard, roll the rectangle and fix them together to make a hat. You can also decorate it with a colourful band and a 10/6 card – which is the price tag. Some baggy trousers and a quirky jacket or waistcoat will complete the look. If you have time, you can head back to the cardboard to make the Mad Hatter’s eponymous pocket watch.