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What is World Book Day?
World book day was created in 1995 by UNESCO, and it is a worldwide celebration of books and reading. It is celebrated in over a hundred countries!
The first world book day in England took place in 1997, only two years after it was created. Its goal is to promote enjoyable reading and to change lives through the enjoyment of books and shared reading.
Supporting students with their reading can have incredible results such as improved language and writing skills, improved imagination and creativity!
How to make easy World Book Day costumes when you're stuck for time:
Creating a world book day costume does not have to be expensive nor serious, it can be budget-friendly and fun!
You can create something totally original by rummaging through your house, especially during the uncertain times we are in now. Being resourceful is incredibly helpful for society right now, so why not ask if anyone is getting rid of anything you may need for an amazing costume?
World Book Day Costume Ideas for Teachers:
Books carry the stories of many characters which over the years we have grown to love – Wallace and Gromit by Nick Park, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Willy Wonka by Roald Dahl,… The list can be endless, especially if you read a lot.
This list includes multiple characters from different literature sources such as poetry, fiction books and comics. On world book day, we believe there should not be a limit to a child’s imagination – especially if it is a character that represents them!
Here are our World Book Day costume ideas for teachers:
1. Peter Rabbit from The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Peter Rabbit has taught many of us that family and friendship is incredibly important. However, how do we create a costume for world book day? Well, all you need is some makeup to draw on a rabbit nose, whiskers, and teeth. You can create bunny ears by attaching white cardboard to a headband!
2. Floella in Coming to England, by Floella Benjamin and Diane Ewen
This story follows the adventure of Floella as she and her family set sail from the Caribbean to the UK for a new life. We see how Floella struggles to cope with the change of lifestyle and how she manages to be herself.
3. Mary Poppins by Pamela Lydon Travers
Mary Poppins is lowkey everyone’s favourite character. She is the original Nanny Mcphee but only a little bit sweeter and with the intentions of aiding the family she works for. Grab an umbrella, a funky hat (which you could DIY out of carboard and a glue gun) and a big bag! With this, you are ready to go!
4. Robin Hood from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, by Howard Pye
There is still an ongoing debate on who originally wrote Robin Hood. Was it Walter Scott and Howard Pye? Dressing us as Robbin Hood is easy, especially if you consider Disney’s interpretation. Green pants, green hoodie – add some accessories, and you’re complete! Oh, and don’t forget the hat and some fake gold coins!
5. Matilda from Matilda, by Roald Dahl
Dressing up as Matilda for World Book Day is a classic. You can create a simple look by wearing a blue dress with a collar, a white cardigan, and a headband. Could it get any easier?
6. Miss Trunchbull
Keeping it next to the Matilda suggestion, why not pair up with your work colleagues to pull off this amazing duo for school time? World Book day is not complete without seeing at least one teacher dressing us as another teacher.
7. Tracy Beaker, from The Story of Tracey Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson
Everyone knows who Tracey Beaker is, especially now that the CBBC has revamped a new show called My Mum Tracey Beaker. This quirky, funny and fiery character is perfect for your classroom.
8. Black Panther from Marvel Comics
Black Panther was released in 1966 by Stan-lee and Jack Kirby during the Silver Age of comic books. The black panther originally starred in the fantastic four comics before Marvel created its own comic.
9. Princess Dessire from Blackberry Blue and Other Fairy Tales by Jamila Gavin
10. Pathfinder Emeka from Blackberry Blue and Other Fairy Tales by Jamila Gavin
We have included two characters from this book series as we believe they also represent strong, resilient people.
11. Ella from How High is The Moon, by Karyn Parsons
Inspired by a true story this book is a great representation of how many young children feel in today’s age. The book draws in elements of prejudice, racism and bullying in a gentle manner that educates others on culture and how to treat others from different backgrounds.
12. The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The mad hatter is one of the funniest characters in Alice and wonderland. That’s why we picked him overall the characters in the book. However, if mad hatter isn’t your style why not opt for Alice, the Cheshire cat or the red queen?
13. Ed Boone, Christopher’s father from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
The father in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time plays such an important role in the book – he is the element of mystery and dishonesty. Why not tie this into activities you have planned for your classroom?
14. Sherlock Holmes from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
Turn your classroom into a detective agency and spend the day re-living Sherlock’s adventures. This is a great idea for maths investigation activities, get your students involved by pretending they are part of the Sherlock Holmes apprentice club.
15. Wicked Witch from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
Villains aren’t bad, they are normally just misunderstood! Spice up World Book day by changing sides.
16. Ebo from Illegal by Eoin Colfer
Some people live at home with their parents, others fleed their country to get somewhere safer. Ebo is a character that shows inner strength, resilience and hard work – everything students should learn for later life.
17. Pippi from Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Not many children will know who Pippi is and where she comes from. However, for many teachers this costume for world book day will be a blast from the past – it is also a great excuse to read or show who she is to your students. An independent girl who lives alone with her horse and monkey.
18. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Need a character that’s determined, observant and kindhearted? Katniss is your choice. Creating a costume can also be easy, you just need black leggings, a black top and a makeshift bow and arrow – you can always order a toy one online!
19. Dumbledore, from Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you’ll be familiar with this friendly wizard. Dumbledore is the perfect wizard to match any other student which might be dressing up as a Harry Potter character.
20. Zeus from Percy Jackson and the lightning thief by Rick Riordan
The Greek Gods are in many works of literature. However, the story of Percy Jackson is well known and also fun to read. Dressing up as one of the featuring Gods is a great idea for world book day.
21. Thor or Loki from Norse Mythology
Funnily enough, many young students will recognise these Nordic gods by the Marvel films on Thor. Creating a costume for Thor is easy, all you need is a large hammer and a makeshift beard. However, for Loki, you might want to get creative. In mythology, Loki is described as a ginger God with a horned helmet – whereas in the Marvel films he has darker hair. Go with what you prefer! After all, characters are to be freely interpreted.
22. The Gruffalo
Another classic. No matter how young or old, everyone knows who the Gruffalo is. Do we have to say more?
23. Mr Toad from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.
Some students might not recognise who Mr Toad is. However, since the movie re-make, students will have probably encountered this beautiful story along with its funny characters. But how do you dress up as Mr Toad? Green face paint, a waistcoat and a cap! Don’t forget to make the occasional frog noise to be more believable!
24. Romeo Montague or Juliet Capulet from Rome & Juliet by W. Shakespeare.
Bring poetry into the mix by dressing up as one of the two characters from Shakespeare’s most famous work.
25. Waldo from Where is Waldo (Or Wally) by Jim Cummings.
Lastly, our list ends with another literature classic. Waldo is an easy and recognisable character that teachers can dress up as for world book day. All you need is some red pants, a stripey top and a hat to match.
We hope this list has inspired you to pick a fun character to impersonate during 2021 World Book Day that brings laughter and fun into your classroom.
And from the Emile team: