World Book Day – Here We Go Again!

Pictured is the author's son (aged 5) dressed as Captain Flinn

World Book Day is almost upon us. Whereas we all agree that it’s a great thing, when the letter arrives home from school asking the children to dress up, I’ll admit my heart sinks a little (writes Catherine Lawler).

Can we recycle anything? Will last year’s outfit still fit? Is there anything left in the shops?

I’m a huge fan of recycling, but as the little ones now have a big voice, last year’s outfit is not going to cut the mustard. Most children, it seems, are not interested in either convenience or saving money. That said, if you can somehow persuade them to go as Mr Bump – a couple of bandages and you’re all done. Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, there probably won’t be many children dressed as Barry, the Fish with Fingers or Gangsta Granny.

So here we go again. What books are in this year?

Harry Potter – a nice easy one. A cape and a pair of glasses should not be hard to come by and a simple lightning strike on the forehead and you’re sorted. The only problem? Almost everyone is Harry Potter.  Perhaps you could mix it up a bit with Where’s Wally – a straightforward red and white jumper, hat and a pair of specs.

The Boy in the Dress – a great story and another easy outfit. But if my boys are anything to go by, your sons are unlikely to warm to this idea.

Matilda – a great choice for the girls and it’s a simple one too – a blue dress and red hair ribbon. You’ll still see a few Elsas around this year, but as Frozen isn’t actually a book, it’s not technically allowed..

Fantastic Mr Fox, The Cat in the Hat, Alice in Wonderland, the witch from Room on the Broom or Superworm – there are loads of great books to choose from.

Here are 4 local shops that can help make this year’s World Book Day a success. Hurry though, as they do sell quickly and you don’t want to emulate the White Rabbit in the run up to World Book Day … “oh my ears and whiskers! How late it’s getting!”

Hazeldress, 77a School Lane, Didsbury M20 6WN (0161) 445 5522 (no website). The owners are retiring at the end of July after running this shop 50 years, so children’s costumes are selling now at bargain prices.

Spivey’s Web, 85 Chestergate, Macclesfield SK11 6DG (01625) 430050

Funky Fever Fancy Dress, 31 Oakfield Street, Altrincham WA15 8HQ (0161) 928 0934

The Stage Door, 16-20 Little Underbank, Stockport SK1 1JT (0161) 480 3022

If all else fails, many major supermarket superstores have some mainstream outfits, or you could or put out a plea on your class Facebook page – other (more organised) parents can often save the day!

World Book Day takes place on Thursday, March 2. For information, ideas and inspiration, visit the website here.