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World Book Day: costumes, controversies and some good reads

World Book Day. Has it become yet another marker to test whether we are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ parents?

This year, Brummy Mummy of 2 agonised over her ‘first world’ problem. Crafting – and making fancy costumes for her children – don’t feature in her repertoire of Mummy skills. And on the Guardian’s blog, Sarah Ditum wonders whether to send her daughter in as Alice in Wonderland again – for the fifth year in a row – or to try and join the ranks of parents she sees around her, who manage to mock up marvellous outfits at the drop of a hat.

Facebook debates have been raging about whether or not parents should send children to school in superhero and princess costumes. What the Redhead Said joins the fray, with her post asking whether dressing a child as a character from a film, not a book, is missing the point of World Book Day. Also on facebook was a general grumble (or cheer, depending on which camp you stood in) about the decision made by some schools to choose between dressing up for World Book Day or Red Nose Day, which were very close together this year.

(Incidentally, if you’re a lover of all things Red Nose Day-related, why not check out the Team Honk linky of all the posts from the Danceathon, which saw over 100 bloggers bopping away for six hours?)

And the costumes themselves? We saw plenty of those. Four for the Road was caught short without a costume for her daughter last year, so this year she put a huge effort into transforming her into Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Betty O’Barley, complete with real straw. And Polkadot Family‘s daughter decided to unleash her inner thespian and insisted on going as Cleopatra.

Forget the kids – Over 40 and a Mum to One dressed a potato as Mr Bump. Rambling Through Parenthood gave up looking for a Mr Strong outfit for her son, and decided she’d be better off making one herself. Max and Mummy also¬† embraced the shop-bought outfit this year – a very cute Where’s Wally. Savette.com, concerned about how her son with autism would react on a day when everyone dresses differently, was pleased that going into the classroom as Iron Man turned out to be a hit with the youngster.

Costumes and controversies aside, World Book Day has also inspired plenty of meaty posts about books themselves. On A Residence, Penny wrote a cracking list of books for grown-ups that she either enjoyed, or which are on her must-read pile. My own list of e-books for reluctant (pre-school and KS1) readers features on the Pigeon Pair and Me. In the Playroom has blogged about the Sainsbury’s list of 50 books every kid should read; Parenthood Highs and Lows put together a list of family favourites; and Opposable Thumbs has gone the whole hog and written her own book in time for World Book Day, on social media for writers.

Did your children dress up for World Book Day? And do you think that, with all the controversies over costumes, we may be overlooking the main focus of the day: the books themselves?

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