Gransnet forums


Thursday 5 June is World Book Day. 📚

(29 Posts)
Urmstongran Mon 02-Mar-20 19:41:13

Our daughter nipped out a teatime to buy a dressing up costume from Sainsbury’s for our grandson who is in year 3 (first year junior in old money).

Whilst I walked home tonight, I got to thinking - what about families who might be financially embarrassed. What will they do this Thursday?

Do all schools have the children ‘dress up’ as book characters or are there better ideas out there?

SalsaQueen Mon 02-Mar-20 19:50:32

My 8 year old GD has been told to dress up as any WORD of her choosing, which is perhaps easier to do? (What word though? grin)

Marydoll Mon 02-Mar-20 19:59:15

When World Book Day first started, we never asked children to dress up as characters, as we were in a high area of deprivation. The emphasis was on enjoying books.

Then we got a new headteacher and children were asked to dress up. It then progressed to the Head spending a fortune on expensive outfits for himself to dress up and putting pressure on staff to also dress up as characters.

There were many pupils whose parents could not afford to buy an outfit or hadn't the imagination or time to make their own. I felt so sorry for those children who felt different. In my mind, it was a type of discrimination.

The original purpose of the day became lost in the competition to see who had the most original outfit. The whole concept of enjoying reading was lost. I dreaded World Book Day in the end.

Urmstongran Mon 02-Mar-20 20:04:56

There were many pupils whose parents could not afford to buy an outfit or hadn't the imagination or time to make their own. I felt so sorry for those children who felt different. In my mind, it was a type of discrimination

You articulated really well there Marydoll what my concerns are about this whole rig.

Brunette10 Mon 02-Mar-20 21:02:24

I had exactly the same conversation with DD who went out yesterday to buy an outfit for DGS1 who is at nursery. I think it’s such a shame to put pressure on anyone to buy an outfit and take away the importance of what the day is all about.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 02-Mar-20 21:06:42

GCs school have said no “costumes” come in your pyjamas and bring your favourite bedtime book. I think that is a much better idea.

Urmstongran Mon 02-Mar-20 21:11:11

Much better GG13 and easier for parents too. As Marydoll said, not all parents are good at costume making (I wasn’t). Plus it’s a lot to ask of time poor parents.

Callistemon Mon 02-Mar-20 21:44:22

I thought it was this Thursday, the 5th March?

It is rather ridiculous and defeats the whole purpose and ethos of World Book Day expecting children to dress up as their favourite character which could cost more than the price of at least one book.

Urmstongran Mon 02-Mar-20 22:09:07

Of course it is Calli ‼️
Thank you.

I knew it was this Thursday. Why did I type ‘June’. Duh.
I’ve asked GNHQ to alter it!

Bathsheba Mon 02-Mar-20 22:24:42

World Book Day has become nothing more than an exercise in commercialism and parental oneupmanship. It has little to do with promoting literacy these days. Go into any of the major supermarkets and you'll see big showy displays of WBD outfits, with not a single book in sight angry.

I honestly think it's time schools woke up to this and stopped the dressing up. There are surely lots of literacy activities they could have on the day instead? And at a time when schools should be (and probably are) teaching children to be environmentally aware, should they be condoning this dreadful, wasteful practice of buying costumes that are often worn for one day and then discarded?

Deedaa Mon 02-Mar-20 22:40:32

GS1 was terribly disappointed one year when the school did a charity thing instead of WBD. He'd been planning his costume for ages. He was always very disapproving of anyone who dressed as a film character.

BlueBelle Tue 03-Mar-20 02:53:57

It’s a big old con and lost its meaning completely
It was a good idea that grew feet and ran away with itself causing a real headache for parents
Much much better idea grannygravy lets hope that catches on

LullyDully Tue 03-Mar-20 08:14:51

I remember seeing the photos from my grandson's reception class last year. There were a lot of little boys in their rehashed Halloween costumes clutching copies of Funny Bones and little girls dressed as Disney princesses.

I do like the idea of pyjamas and a bed time book, much simpler and more relevant.

Susan56 Tue 03-Mar-20 08:37:27

DGD’s school have said the children have to be dressed as a character from a book and take the book with them or wear uniform.They have had a letter to say they are not to come just in dressing up clothes.A bit harsh as others have said not everyone has the money to buy a costume or the skills to make one.DGD has chosen a ballet book as her favourite as the character has the same name as her so will wear her ballet outfit.
It isn’t just world book day.There seem to be requests for money every week whether a voluntary donation or money for trips,visits,photographs,snacks.It must be such an added stress to parents with no spare cash and especially if they have more than one child at the school.

Bathsheba Tue 03-Mar-20 10:42:01

I agree Susan56, about it not being just WBD. Someone posted on a thread I was reading on Facebook the other day, and she was bang on the nail:

The ability of a child to arrive at school dressed up in a character from a book or actually any "homework" task, is directly linked to the time, finances, imagination, patience and knowledge of an adult at home. Any school that thinks about the pressures on even the most devoted and motivated parents would abandon this practice and concentrate on providing enriching resources within school.

Gaunt47 Tue 03-Mar-20 10:52:08

I was in London when WBD began, and then it was just simply a public celebration of books. The organisers of the celebration had piles of paperbacks on street corners and at tube stations etc, and were handing them out to members of the public.
More positive and useful IMO than children dressing up.

LullyDully Tue 03-Mar-20 20:24:37

Like many things WBD has taken on a life of its own. What it has to do with dressing up the length and breadth of the UK I don't know.

V3ra Tue 03-Mar-20 21:18:54

GrannyGravy13 that is absolutely perfect and should be rolled out across the whole country in my opinion.
Pyjamas and a favourite bedtime book. Easy for the parents and a gentle nudge about reading to their children at bedtime!
The children here also get a £1 voucher which can be exchanged for one of a selection of paperbacks at WHS, or put towards another book. I think that's a national thing too?

BlueBelle Tue 03-Mar-20 21:32:28

Nothing to do with world book day but to do with children and reading Every school holiday the charity shop I work in gives one book away each dat to each child coming in the shop they don’t have to buy anything but they usually buy another book 😊

Gaunt47 Tue 03-Mar-20 22:05:54

What a lovely idea Bluebelle, a great thing to do, win win.

watermeadow Wed 04-Mar-20 11:55:10

I wish most children actually dressed up as a book character, rather than a Disney one. I know many families have no books (although usually a huge TV) but presumably there are still books in primary schools.

Susan56 Wed 04-Mar-20 12:19:40

The quote is so true Bathsheba.My granddaughter has just turned 4 so all her homework requires input from her parents.My son in law is a teacher and has been told he has to dress up tomorrow😩not just the parents who find it annoying!!

Auntieflo Wed 04-Mar-20 14:05:51

I also work in a charity shop, and there are lots of parents coming in, in desperation, trying to find part of a costume. Or even looking for inspiration.
What I hadn't realised, was that teachers had to dress up, and were not given a choice, but just told " come as a character from 101 Dalmations" for example.

Witzend Wed 04-Mar-20 17:42:58

Had my dd on the phone about this earlier. 3 and 4 year olds to find outfits for, she has a baby of just 2 months, too.

They have a big dressing up box so have managed to find something, but she says nearly all her friends - who are nearly all working, dd is on maternity leave at the mo - are utterly fed up with it.

I said, start a campaign, then! It would seem a very good time now, to make a protest about totally unnecessary consumption, not to mention the expense.

I well remember going to our local big Asda last year around this time and wondering what all the Goldilocks etc. dresses were for! Yet more imported tat we can do without. God knows it’s bad enough at Halloween!

Why they can’t just take a book in to school, and say why they like it, I don’t know.
Or choose a favourite from the school stock, if they don’t have books at home.

Marydoll Wed 04-Mar-20 19:53:15

Witzend, that's how we used to do it in my school. Children brought their favourite books and talked about it. They were also given a £1 book token to put towards purchasing a book of their own.

IT mostly worked well, until a child with no book, brought one of his parents, without them knowing. It was pornographic! blush. His teacher nearly had an apoplexy!