all about world book day and why the UK and Ireland celebrate on a different date to the rest of the world. fancy dress costume ideas for book characters

All About ‘World Book Day’ – Snow White and other Book Character Fancy Dress Costume Ideas

All about World Book Day!

Today marks ‘World Book Day’ here in the United Kingdom & Ireland, as we celebrate it each year on the first Thursday of March. It is a day to celebrate all things books – reading, authors, illustrators, book characters, etc. With the aim of encouraging more children to discover more books and the joy and pleasure that can come along with reading.

Primary schools in the UK have a fancy dress policy on World Book Day where all staff dress up in fancy dress as book characters and the children also come into school dressed up as book characters too. I personally feel this dressing up element, also invites children into some of the imaginary worlds that these stories create for these characters to live in.

Additionally, I think it is a great way to also show children how a lot of the film’s they watch and enjoy, are actually stories originally from books – maybe this can be a chance for parents to read the books of some of these fond films with their children too.

The UK also has a registered Charity ‘World Book Day’ who work along side schools in sending reading resources and sending book token’s for
National Book Tokens Ltd scheme, where children can get a free book each. You can find out more about the charities work on their website HERE which also has downloadable resources for a range of reading related activities too.

Why the UK & Ireland celebrate World Book Day on a different Day to the rest of the World…

Some of my international readers, may be thinking I’m posting this World Book Day blog too soon. Well that’s because we don’t celebrate on the same day as the rest of the world. When World Book Day was started in 1995 by UNESCO as the worldwide celebration of books and reading, it was on April 23rd and continues to be celebrated on that date in over 100 countries all over the world.

However, that clashes with Saint George’s Day, the patron Saint here in England. As well as it clashing with the Catholic & Christian Easter season for the rest of the UK and Ireland, and the Easter holidays are a time when children don’t attend school.

World Book Day Costume Ideas:

Reading my earlier point of using World Book Day to enlighten children that many of the films they watch were originally a book, I think you can see why I chose these two costume ideas below…

Snow White Fancy Dress Costume:

This Snow White Costume cost me Β£15 from Birmingham Indoor Market Fancy Dress Shop. They had adult and children’s sizes available. This is also available online:

Mary Poppins Fancy Dress Costume:

Many people don’t realise that Mary Poppins film was actually from a book series adapted by Walt Disney. The series of books that follows Mary Poppins on many adventures, started to be published in 1934 and by the last books publication in 1988 there were 8 books in total.

I dressed up as Mary Poppins last year and wrote an in depth tutorial blog post about how I created this DIY Mary Poppins costume from scratch. Read all about it here

I’d love to hear about who you or your children have dressed up as for World book Day – why not let me know in the comment section below.

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7 thoughts on “All About ‘World Book Day’ – Snow White and other Book Character Fancy Dress Costume Ideas

  1. Invisibly Me says:

    I love that schools participate in this and encourage children to get involved because I’m a huge fan of reading & strongly believe it has heaps of benefits. I wish we did dress up when I was at school but World Book Day was never a big deal, we just got a voucher towards a book (which I loved as I was into books as a kid, too). You make a fab Snow White! πŸ™‚
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen's Journey says:

      thanks Caz – got to admit I dont need an excuse to dress up in fancy dress, the drama graduate in me comes alive haha πŸ˜‰

      Totally agree, I’m glad nowadays schoold make such a big deal out of world book day and encouraging children to read and have fun with books and the worlds in side them. the voucher is a great scheme esp as some parents cant afford to buy lots of books or for multiple children at once etc…
      now go enjoy your latest book with a cuppa Caz πŸ˜‰ x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. notyoumate says:

    It’s absolutely great getting the kids enthused about books, reading and a bit of dressing up starts conversations, got to be a brilliant thing. They also do the dressing up at Nurseries. And it’s so cute to see all the local Facebook posts with the kids all pictured – highly creative.

    I think the voucher scheme is excellent – anything that encourages children reading can only be good.

    When did Book Day start ?!?! I don’t recall this when I was younger……some years ago….

    Love the article – what are you dressing up as next year ?!?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen's Journey says:

      It started in 1995 but UK only been doing it for 22years so I’d already gone to Secondary School then & don’t remember doing it.

      But I agree, it’s a brilliant way to encourage reading & interactive fun for all different ages.

      Haven’t decided on next year yet, need to get my thinking cap on… Lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. katelon says:

    Cute costumes! I’d not heard for World Book Day! Thanks for the info. I’ve loved books all my life. I grew up quite ill, in and out of hospitals, emergency rooms, home from school sick etc. and not the most supportive home life so books were a great escape for me. They still are, so I read a lot! I’m glad that schools in the UK support this so much. Here in the US it seems that the kids don’t play outside, don’t play games or imagination stuff but just sit in front of a phone, a tablet or a big TV screen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen's Journey says:

      Hi Katelon, yeah iPads and technology is a problem here in UK too esp in the cold winter months when most children stay inside.
      But yes world book Day really is a great initiative to get them using their imaginations and finding joy in the world of books and reading. So glad it was and is able to give you escapism, shows how powerful the imaginary written word can be mentally πŸ’†πŸ’ͺ

      Liked by 1 person

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