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Wow them this World Book Day

27 February 2019

World Book Day: three words that strike panic (in parents) and elation (in kids) in equal measures. If your kids’ school is taking part this year, fear not - weve got lots of ideas to help. And there’s no reason to go out and buy an entirely new outfit. Take inspiration from these five classic characters from Dorothy to Oliver Twist, and start by working with things the kids already have in their wardrobes, adding in pieces they can wear throughout the year. Alternatively, if you are really strapped for time, we have a small range of fancy dress. Either way, we're here to help.


Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz

This classic character from L. Frank Baum's 1900 book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and played by Judy Garland in the 1939 film, is a favourite for World Book Day. The character is even easier to emulate if your girl happens to wear a blue gingham dress to school anyway. Just add a white cotton blouse, some pop socks and a pair of shiny red shoes that she can enjoy wearing afterwards (the latter being completely essential to the look). 

Paddington Bear 

One of our most endearing book characters, Michael Bonds Peruvian bear Paddington is also a remarkably easy look to pull together. Ideally, you will need red wellies or shoes and a blue coat, but it works equally well with blue wellies or shoes and a red coat so work with what you’ve got. Just add a brown bag or case, a red hat and crucially, marmalade sandwiches for their packed lunch.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

One of the most-read books for the under-fives, this classic story by Eric Carl is now fifty years old. The caterpillar is a great outfit idea for younger children and one that both boys and girls can carry off with equal aplomb. Work with what they have in their wardrobes – top to toe bright green in the form of leggings and a sweater will do. Just add a red mask (you can make this out of cardboard) and antenna (attached to an alice band) for the full effect.

Pippi Longstocking

Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren’s quirky character Pippi (full name: Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking) is a great World Book Day contender for girls. The strongest girl in the world lives alone with her monkey Mr Nilsson, has an striking dress sense that is fun to copy. Think mis-matching striped tights, odd shoes, a denim pinafore and colourful accessories. A pair of crooked plaits are essential (make them stick up at funny angles, Pippi-style, by weaving pipe cleaners into the braids). Add a toy monkey too, if you have one.

Oliver Twist

Charles Dickens’ second novel, published between 1837-39, is as popular as its ever been. With his threadbare clothes and cheeky charm, workhouse inhabitant Oliver Twist remains an instantly recognisable character to emulate for World Book Day. Plus, recreating the Oliver Twist look is a great way to re-use any now-redundant wedding gear your boy may have acquired from waistcoats to blazers. If there are a bit too small, all the better. Key ingredients to get his look include a flat cap, a grey jacket and grubby cheeks (use black face paints). Gruel for breakfast optional. 

All film still imagery by Shutterstock

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