Wednesday, 7 March 2012

My World Book Day success!

There are few things that drive me more up the wall than 'dressing up days' at school. This is mainly because I am told about them with little more than 24 hours notice (or so it seems). Even with notice, it creeps up on me unawares and becomes a last-minute panic. It is also because I am pretty hopeless and utterly unskilled in creating outfits.

Whilst I love books, I was dreading World Book Day (last Thursday) because it would - inevitably - mean that both my children would have to dress up. I am running out of characters who wear ordinary clothes. Harry Potter et al requires a cloak. Winnie the Pooh: a bear outfit. Daisy Meadows' Fairies: wings, wands and general ethereality. Children's book characters are, almost by definition, out of the ordinary.

This year, along with many schools across the land I have no doubt, I had to dress my daughter as a Dickens' character. She has never heard of Dickens, never read one of his stories nor any idea about who would be in them. In all honesty, I haven't read a full novel of his either. How many female Dickens characters are there? And how many of them are interesting, rather than just Victorian ladies.

We settled for her being a ragamuffin urchin with a flat cap on and torn T-shirt + leggings.

In contrast, my son's class have been reading Gangsta Grannie and so had to go as Gangsta Grannies or Grandpas. Not having read the book myself I had to rely on him to know what to do. He decided to go as a thief, dressed all in black, with a mask over his face.

"And green coming out of my bottom," he said.

This is a statement to make most mothers stop in their tracks.

"She eats cabbage," he explained, "and farts cabbage."

"Oh," I reply. I rack my brain to think of where I might find some green material to sew on, and scratch my head as I wonder how I'm going to do that with no hours left in my day.

Then: my eureka moment.

"Why don't we buy a cabbage and fasten cabbage leaves to your T-shirt?"

And so we did.

And why was this a success? (Other than placating my son, of course!)

He won a Headteacher's Award for his costume!

I like to think that I won it really...


Working Mum said...

I thank the Lord that my daughter didn't have to dress up this year (only the infants do) so my days of World Book Day are over. However, next term there is Egyptian day......

Catharine Withenay said...

Several years ago I made a white tunic. It was too big at the time - result! Has lasted for years as Egyptians and Romans and allsorts. Only the kids are bored of it!!

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