World Book Day is almost upon us spreading joy and terror in equal measure.
Designed to inspire a love of books and reading from an early age, the Unesco-created event on 2 March, 2023 aims to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own.
For youngsters, it’s a fun-filled non-uniform day where they can go to school dressed as their favourite book character, spend the day doing reading-related tasks and then use their free £1 book token to choose from an array of selected literary offerings at their nearest bookseller.
But for parents, the phrase “World Book Day” can conjure up an entirely different sensation if the day dawns and a suitable costume has not been secured.
We take a look at how to avoid World Book Day disaster with a selection of easy wins on the costume front.
What are the best last-minute DIY ideas for World Book Day costumes?
David Walliam’s character Mr Stink or Roald Dahl’s The Twits require minimal effort for maximum effect.
Both have scruffy hair, dishevelled and dirty clothes and if possible a beard for Mr Stink and Mr Twit.
If your child has a blue top, then Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit or Roger Hargreaves’ Mr Bump are easily achieved.
Accessorise the blue top with some bunny ears and a couple of carrots for Peter Rabbit or wind some bandages around your child’s head and middle for Mr Bump.
A red and white stripey top and woolly hat with some round glasses gives you Martin Handford’s Wally.
While the same glasses with a black cape over a white shirt and grey/black trousers is perfect for Harry Potter fans.
Drape a large white sheet over them like a toga and they can become a Rotten Roman from the Horrible Histories series.
With a red hat, wellies, a blue duffle coat and marmalade sandwich, you have the nation’s favourite bear – Michael Bond’s Paddington.
However, if your offspring is less keen to dress up, then wearing jeans and a T-shirt while carrying a bucket full of plastic dinosaurs is the perfect recreation of Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynold’s Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs.
For older children, ordinary clothes with a cardboard sword and shield will instantly transform them into the eponymous character from Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series of books.
And for those wanting to break away from the usual handful of book characters, a large cardboard box covered in tin foil with holes for your child’s head and arms makes a Great Glass Elevator of which Roald Dahl would surely approve.