Friday, 2 March 2012

World Book Day

A few words about World Book Day.  I embrace this day.  I wish it had existed when I was a child.  Children should be encouraged to enjoy reading and to be inspired by books.

Like a lot of schools, my son's school requested its pupils dress as a character from a book.  C chose Harry Potter.  Well, we thought it fitting to pay homage to one of the most successful children's literary characters of a generation. 

Having said that, my son did, at the eleventh hour, decide that he wanted to dress as Hiccup the Viking.  I could see him eyeing my furry waistcoat.  However, in the absence of a Viking helmet, I managed to persuade him that simply donning his mum's furry waistcoat might require explanation sufficient to stretch his 7 year-old vocabulary to its limits.  So, Harry Potter he was.

We looked forward to our walk to school and had fun character spotting, although therein lies my problem.  We counted at least 3 Jack Sparrows.  Now, maybe I'm being picky, but Pirates of the Caribbean started life as a theme park ride before being adapted for the big screen.  I know, I know, there are now Pirates of the Caribbean books, but they knock out books of any old film these days.  It's hardly children's literature darlings, just more dollars for the movie producers!

Also, I overheard mothers explaining away their children's costumes as "pirate" or "princess" because they happened to have an old costume lying around the house and it was nice and easy, however tenuously related to a work of literature they might be.  They may as well have sent them in mufty and claimed that they were one of any number of red herrings littering the pages of the Where's Wally books or a random child featured in the playground illustrations in the Alfie and Annie Rose storybooks! 

Come on people!  World Book Day!  How about Long John Silver?  Or the Queen of Hearts?  A little imagination is required. 

This just goes to show how important World Book Day really is.  I shall now dismount my soap box.

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