World Book Day - Love it or Loathe it- How do YOU feel?

Posted on February 12 2018

World Book Day - Love it or Loathe it- How do YOU feel?

Here in the UK we have The Booksellers Association and National Book Tokens Ltd to thank for organising and funding this incredible annual event to encourage our children to pick up a book and read.

It is facilitated by local bookshops which stock a range of specially selected £1 books. Each child is given a World Book Day token to buy a book for £1, or they can choose another book of their choice and spend the token to get £1 off the price.

Some of this years’ £1 books for younger children are;

World Book Day-Marvel Avengers World Book Day-The Girl Who Thought She Was a Dog

You can check out the full selection of this year’s £1 books here.

This tremendous initiative means that every single child can have a book of their own once a year that they can keep and read over and over.

Great news right? 

OK we’ll take the £1 book thank you very much, after all we all love a bargain.  But as a busy, yet loving parent how do YOU feel about the whole thing?  Do you love to join in with all the activities at school or nursery, or is it all a bit too much? Love it or loathe it.


You are the kind of parent who really looks forward to World Book Day; It is right up your street.  You enjoy sharing in the discovery of new books, the school activities and plays and the children dressing up as their favourite characters.

Lucky you, there are loads of new and classic books this year to fire up their imaginations.  The whole dressing up thing is a breeze for you and of course if your child’s school has a prize for the best costume you’ll be bringing it home.

“We have a huge collection of fancy dress costumes so it was pretty simple really”


What if you are one of those parents who thinks that World Book Day is forced on us by (well meaning) schools to add even more stress to our already busy lives?  As if we don’t already have enough to do with jobs, social lives, homework and school sports activities….and now we have a whole new thing we have to get involved with.

And to top it all our little angels don’t really like reading that much and you can’t see how dressing up will change that.  In fact the whole thing seems like a lot of extra work. No wonder it can cause stress and even family tension.

“Grrrrrrrr. I  hate it. I am all for celebrating reading and books but this yearly dress up activity at school drives me mad!”

Help!! What if I’m not creative???

A recent discussion on mumsnet suggests that while most parents welcome the focus on books and reading it is the whole dressing up bit that scares them. Not because they don’t’ want to see their children joining in and having fun but because they are not naturally practical or creative and so they feel frustrated.

“I can't stand it! It's not that I begrudge the children having fun etc, it's because I'm the least creative person on the planet. Aaargh.”

So what do you do if you just can’t sew or make?  Of course you want your children to have a really great costume that they can have fun in and show to their friends but time and practicality is not on your side.

Read on - Here are our Top 10 Tips.

  1. First of all try not to stress. Easier said than done we know, but after all it should be fun as well as educational.
  1. Avoid “Competitive Parent” syndrome. Costumes can be simple, effective and inexpensive, and as long as they relate to the book or character then job done. The most important thing is that your child is comfortable and happy, not what other parents think.
  1. Try to plan and not leave things until the last minute. If your child’s school or nursery has a theme or book then find out about it as early as possible so you can get ahead.

Even if there is no theme and your child can dress up as any character they choose it pays to plan ahead. Then you can relax and enjoy the day.

  1. Can you decide on a costume first then find a book to fit? That can make the whole process easier if you already have something in the dressing up box that you can use for World Book Day.
  1. Mix and match shop bought and home-made costumes. For example wear a superhero cape over regular clothes to tie in with the Marvel Avengers book. Our superhero cape is £16.



If you are up for a little craft work check out this video on how to make a simple superhero mask. Video here

Another simple idea is to wear fairy wings with a t-shirt and frilly skirt – simple but with great impact. Check out our fairy wings and wands sets here.



  1. Face paints are a godsend and the effects are amazing. With a stripy t-shirt, an eye mask and some black face paint your child can be a pirate. With some orange and black paint they can be a leopard or tiger. Or with a little more skill you can create a more colourful look as a fairy or butterfly.    


  1. Hats, hats, hats. No costume needed when you have the right hat. For example Police officer, Chef, Pirate, Cowboy, Builder’s helmet…the right hat goes a long way. And don’t forget wigs too. Our occupational hats set has 5 soft hats suitable for children from 3-7 years.



  1. Always be an animal. Lots of books feature animals so there are loads of options here for farm animals, jungle animals, dinosaurs and even mythical creatures like dragons and unicorns.  Here at Time to Dress Up we love our zip tops and tabards. They are beautifully made with lots of detail, can be worn over regular clothes and are easy to put on and take off. Best of all they are priced starting at £15 so they won’t break the bank. Check them out here.

      Owl Fancy Dress Cape    Giraffe Zip Top for Children


  1. Consider starting a Dressing Up Box. Many costumes and accessories can be used and worn all through the year for playing and for parties.  If you start a collection and store everything away in a dressing up box it can take the stress out of fancy dress party invites and next year’s World Book Day.  Many of our costumes will fit and last for up to 3 or more years so you will get lots of wear from them and they are great value.


     10. Remember to enjoy the day and take lots of photos.

“I actually love World Book Day though, even though it is stressful and I am not creative. The buzz in the playground is great. All the staff at my kids' school dress up, which makes the day, I think."

We hope everyone has great fun on World Book Day 2018 and it would be great to see your photos too!

Sue and Vicky xx


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