Topsy and Tim – The World Book Day Catastrophe

It is the night before World Book Day and Mummy is happily dicking about on social media and ignoring the twins when she sees a new post pop up on the on the school facebook page.fuck off4Oh dear. Mummy has forgotten about World Book Day because she has a life, a job, 726 unread emails, a damp problem in the hallway, parcels to drop off at the post office, undiagnosed back pain, red final reminder bills, hardly any food in the house, an itchy head (nits? again!), washing that has been sitting in the machine for two days, PMT and 15 million other things on her multiple to do lists.

Why does it always seem to be world book day?!!?! And why didn’t her children bother to remind her!

hate booksFFS. Mummy cannot lose face at school she must prepare emergency outfits!

favourite books4


Mummy cannot send the twins to school clutching the Toys R Us catalogue and a Nintendo 3DS so she phones Daddy and asks him to go shopping on the way home and get the twins ANY costume that is in ANY book.

He comes home with two Harry Potter outfits so the twins can be dressed exactly the same as thousands of other kids for the simple reason that it was all that was left in Tesco’s – because that is surely the true spirit of World Book Day!

don't lookbad

The twins are very excited about their outfits and put them on right away. Mummy says they can sleep in them because she realises that this means she won’t have to get them dressed in the morning.


The next day the twins wake up and decide they hate the Harry Potter outfits and refuse to wear them!


Tim will only leave the house dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Topsy refuses to wear any costume at all. Mummy will have to improvise!

On the way to school they bump into Tony Welch. Tony Welch’s mum only remembered about World Book Day this morning and has resorted to tying a packet of sausages around his neck.

peppa pig

Then they bump into Capable Louise whose children are dressed as the ensemble of Alice in Wonderland. Louise has been preparing the costumes for six months, did you know they were spun from organic lama wool imported from Bolivia?

Well you do now!


It’s always a pleasure seeing Capable Louise!

She looks suspiciously at Tim…


She looks disappointed with Topsy…


Mummy starts to feel a bit cross. Why must Louise always look down on her so?

There was nothing else for it. Louise needed a good old fashioned dressing down!

‘Hey Louise. You think you are so capable huh?!! Well yes… you probably are but don’t go putting down other people just because they don’t have time to hand sew World Book Day outfits from imported Bolivian lama wool! Some people have other more important things in their lives than World Book Day – like jobs and friends and binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix! And OK my kids may not LOVE reading but we DO STILL READ! They still like books OK!’

topsy catalog

‘…It’s just sometimes they might prefer playing a computer game – what’s so wrong with that?!’

topsy 3ds 2

‘ANYWAY I don’t have to justify myself to you! And neither does Tony Welch’s mum – Look at him! He’s come as deceased Peppa Pig as she went out last night and all she had in her house this morning was a packet of sausages, and no one can really say how she ever thought that tying raw meat around her sons neck was an appropriate fancy dress outfit but SHE TRIED HER BEST! Is that ok with you? I SAID IS THAT OK WITH YOU LOUISE?!?!?!?!’


Capable Louise, was for once, totally lost for words.

And with that Mummy, Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the concept of ‘Nothing’, Tony Welch’s mum and the artist formally know as Peppa Pig walked into school with their heads held high to a rapture of applause from children dressed in identical Tesco Harry Potter costumes knowing full fucking well that THEY WERE THE TRUE WINNERS OF WORLD BOOK DAY!



P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)


91 thoughts on “Topsy and Tim – The World Book Day Catastrophe

    1. Amy Shacaluga

      What a beaut!!! I haven’t laughed this much in a long time …… deceased peppa nearly finished me off ( had to get a grip for fear of waking baby read 3 yr old ) Marvellous x AmyShacs

  1. Joke

    Oh man, this happened to me some years ago.
    Only then I was ONE WEEK TOO EARLY with the costume!

    My kid was so proud of himself that HE was the only Spiderman in the playground at school.
    All his class mates were in total awe of his impressive outfit.
    Whereas all moms looked at me in a funny way and started whispering stuff to each other.
    My kid was definitely the talk of the moment at either side.
    I felt sooooo embarrassed …

    The next week – when we were actually supposed to do the costume thing – I totally went above and beyond with his Dracula make-up; with the fake blood and grey eyes and the whole lot!
    Again: turning heads in the mom camp as well as on the playground!

    Who’s your mommy now, bitches!

    1. Laura

      I sent my kids in today ready for world book day – they had to wear pj’s and bring a teddy or a book with them. Luckily the 2 year old didn’t seem to notice by my 4 year old came home saying no one else had jarmies on today mummy!!! #epicmumfail

    2. Mazzy

      OMG… this was me this week… only I got a call from my distraught child when I had just arrived at work saying he needed to go to school today as a Pokémon as it was WBD and he needed to be dressed as his FAVOURITE character! Daddy left to mop up meltdown And finally got him into zombie ninja costume from last Halloween!
      Well got worse as next day (Friday) went to birthday party a day early, despite my child telling me the party was on Saturday, thinking I was super organised and back in control! As we were driving there DS said “I don’t think they are going to be there mummy”, “don’t be silly darling” Losing it! #EpicFailWeek

    1. claudine

      Me too! Until our school decided to change Book Day at our school to Friday, at the last minute. Now I have less than 24 hours to come up with a costume.

  2. hale

    Thank you, i feel so extremely lonely in this thing as it feels like mums around here love sewing organic costumes for the book day. I don’t. I have massive life obligations and don’t see the point of me preparing something for my kids when they themselves are not capable of making on their own. Thanks Katie.

    1. Bebe

      Don’t feel lonely. My son drew a picture of ‘Dog Zombies’ with a permanent laundry pen on his old t shirt and went as Tom Gates (he has a band called Dog Zombies) He loves it.

      1. Caro

        That’s next year’s costume sorted This year he was Alex Rider. Own clothes plus a few gadgets – his old ds, a dart, bubblegum and my spot cream

  3. Marie

    My son has very considerately decided to go as Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid which basically means his own clothes and carrying a backpack. As the youngest of three boys he has realised that mum can only do so much with Wundaweb and a stapler

    1. Rachel

      Hehe every year my son just wears normal clothes and picks a boy from a book. We hate dressing up in this house, even though we do love books.

    2. Yvonne

      My daughter is called Matilda and she hates dressing up. It;s like I chose the name knowing World Book Day come knocking. Every year she goes as Matilda- bliss!

  4. Mel

    I had this exact experience this morning. Supposedly there was a note from school inviting parents to come in and read to the class on World Book Day, and at the bottom there was a piece about them dressing up on the 2nd March. Well, as we both have full time jobs we obviosuly cannot come into the classroom during the day (yet again), so we carefully filed the letter in the bin.
    Anyway, at drop off this morning we discovered it was dressing up day today. “Shit”, I thought to myself whilst smiling, trying to conceal the “what the hell am I going to do now” feeling creeping over me.
    I realised that daughter has a Snow White princess dress that just about still fits. It might be Disney, but it was a book long before that. Done.

  5. Carie @ Space for the Butterflies

    Kitty asked her teachers if her new school dressed up for world book day and much as I adore books I was deeply thrilled that the answer was “you can dress up at home if you want to”. No world book day for us – phew – and as last year every girl in her class bar one was a Disney Princess, and the one left over was Tinkerbell. It was ever the same; on the one occasion I can remember it from my Primary school days most people came as the Famous Five (jeans and a jumper) and my sister and I went as Nancy and Peggy Blackett (shorts, a jumper and a red bobble hat!)

  6. NG

    Read this quickly while being assaulted by the guilt ferry because I am ignoring my 6 month old for the last 10 minutes (to read this).
    Now on top of feeling guilty am also paralized with fear as this means in a few years will have to prepare for world book day too.
    who the f… invented this and why???
    Is there a copyright on the nothing costume? I might reuse that one :)
    On a general note thank you SO much for your posts, they make my days and make me feel better about trying (and failing) to balance marital life, an infant, a full-time job, a household and in consequence not having washed my hair in 10 days…

    1. NottheMama

      Deep breath and sending a hug to you. Your child will be fine – 10 minutes for you to untense a little when you’ve a heap on your shoulders is completely fine.

      With any luck, by the time your 6 month old is of school age all this nonsense will be over. And when you next see your husband, hand him his child, and go and get a shower and wash your hair. xxx

    2. Bebe

      Do you know if you leave your hair unwashed for long enough it will self clean(I remember a girl at school did it). About 14 days. So don’t give in you are nearly there… LOL

  7. Rachel

    Extremely grateful that my son’s new school does the ‘dress up’ part to World Book day every other year! However, he does have a random dragon outfit that I am hoping will still fit him for next year’s! I’ll say he’s Zog, jobs a good’un! :D

  8. Amy Beecroft

    Brilliant, I am crying laughing. Especially the Peppa Pig/Tony Welch bit. Thank you for staying up late to do this. It has made my evening. Tomorrow we have some fox ears and a tail, kindly provided by Amazon for Roald Dahl day (that we had 3 days notice for at the start of September term) bit of eyeliner for whiskers and volia = 1 fox from fantastic Mr Fox, not fussy which one it is, clearly I haven’t got a waistcoat for him to be Actual Mr Fox. But he hates dressing up and so do I so this was the best we were ever going to manage!

  9. Clair

    Oh, feeling really crap now! My twins wanted to go as Harry and Hermione and as they already have the costumes I’m going with it .

  10. Fiona

    Literally choked on a bit of fajita reading that! Absolutely hilarious as always. You always make me feel better!!!

  11. Vicki

    The best part of this by far is the speech bubble that says “When you die, there is just a big dark void so everything is pointless.” I spat my tea out laughing at that :D

  12. Gemma

    This is totally me every year! But this year I was super organised and remembered a day early so with the help of Amazon prime my girls (7&10) will be wearing their first actual costumes for world book day! Okay they are superheroes but comics are a sort of book aren’t they?

  13. Judy Scholes

    The sausages!!! ‘I’m Peppa Pig!’ Bahahahaha

    TOP TIP: Make an oversized, AWESOME outfit, and your child might readily agree to wear it for the second year running! YEsssssss I win at Mummying, losers!

  14. Sam

    My child wanted to go as all kinds of impossible things, such as a small Afrocarabean girl from a book she has… My daughter is Caucasian and blond… I’m pretty sure any attempt at this request would be just wrong!!! Meanwhile the school sent a message to parents, which sounded so pleased with itself – because this parental torture day is, for once, free of charge.

  15. Bernadette Doyle

    I sent my son to school in civvie clothes and a tin of peaches…..James and the not so Giant Peach! If, I was more organised he would have had a name badge, as his name isn’t James!
    Tomorrow my other son is wearing combats, tshirt some smudged face paint and will have binoculars and bugs / creatures….Steve Backshall Deadly 60! Cheers!!! X

  16. Ian

    I had the pleasure of doing that traditional world book day think of decorating a potato. Yes a potato. As his favourite book. We now have a sweet potato in the style of Master Wu from Lego Ninjago. I’d rather take dressing them up!

  17. kluelesskate

    So refreshing to read this after getting back at 9pm from emergency dash to asda to get costumes for tomorrow. Fecking school has decided to support world book day for the first time this year but only bothered to tell us yesterday! Felt better that asda was full of other panicking parents.

  18. Gema

    Lovely to see I’m not the only one. book day is tomorrow two weeks on deciding what he wants to be. Settled on Peter Pan. Was just told this Evening (8pm while going to sleep) he wants to be a knight. “Mummy just order it on the computer” says 4 year old. No lovely you are Peter Pan, or a pirate or batman or … Any other 100000 costumes we have … Just not a knight. Not sure even as a Amazon prime member I can Magic up that one by 7 am. Anyway here’s to wine …. And a night of magic…well I’m a mum … of course he’ll be a knight tomorrow …… (Sucker)… X

  19. Jennifer

    My son is wearing a pillowcase and going as Dobby the house elf. My daughter, thankfully, has tonsillitis so won’t be participating. I, for my sins, am an English teacher so am obliged to get dressed up. Thanks to my auburn tresses and frumpy wardrobe, I’ll make a convincing Mrs Weasley. Not that the kids will guess that’s who I’m supposed to be

  20. Gemma Oliver

    I have two sets of twins …. so have only just looked on social media for the first time since this morning to see “that perfect mums” outfit making IG post….. and as such only JUST realised it’s WBD Frantically text one of the pre school ladies – they don’t do WBD – there is a god

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post….. this will since me when the big two start school…. thankfully I can avoid WBD for another year…. on the downside will gave four to cater for in 4 years time! Oh myyyyyyyy, what a cheery thought

  21. Pat

    So many funny things. I agree with Vicki about the ‘When you die’ speech bubble. My daughter came home from the C of E school aged 8 and said she was an atheist.

    Also, my other daughter, who is in year 7, is dressing up as a ‘super hero’, in a pink cape and eye mask. Can you guess how much she likes to read?

    FInally, my very conservative American sister-in-law just sent me an email begging me to get her some Irish cow’s milk gin that she has tried- offering to pay IN ADVANCE so she can have it at Christmas. The absolutely best gin ever, she says. Hmmm. I think I’ll get her a copy of your book as well.

  22. Sue

    Haha. Weeping. Yup. Got a text at work this afternoon saying it’s TOMORROW! FFS. I thought it was next week. And the child had already decided he has to be a proper Voldemort. Just spent 20 minutes hacking up some tights & finding the masking tape & facepaint. Will wing it in the morning…

    1. Claire

      Soooooo funny! My kids hate books! I used to read to them 3 and 4 books every night until they were 6 and 8 and then all they were interested in was their phones and tablets ! We have a louise type at our school that hand makes the costumes ( god get a life ) and i did the mad Asda dash at £12 a costume! Thanks for another fan story x

    2. Claire

      Soooooo funny! My kids hate books! I used to read to them 3 and 4 books every night until they were 6 and 8 and then all they were interested in was their phones and tablets ! We have a louise type at our school that hand makes the costumes ( god get a life ) and i did the mad Asda dash at £12 a costume! Thanks for another fab story x

  23. Sarah

    Well it’s currently 10.38pm the day before world book day and I am trying to rustle together some outfits for my 2! Aaaargh!

  24. Kate

    Sat in bed sniggering reading this. My girls’ costumes will consist of whatever Disney princess dress they pick out of the dressing up box. I just can’t do making a whole. Ostume for both of them.

  25. Jenny B

    Fabulous! My 7 y/o was dispatched (not literally, dispatched) upstairs to sort hers out, 60 mins later and already past bedtime…. I find she’s made an outfit out of paper.

  26. Kathryn

    I’ve spent a week convincing my child to go as Mr. Bump (to be fair he loves those books atm.) 20p bandage from Wilko on an blue t shirt. And I’ve spent the evening drinking wine and watching telly. Hopefully my smugness now doesn’t translate to the child changing his mind in the morning…

  27. Ruth

    I hide the toys r us catalogue when it plops through the letterbox. Literally the boy’s fave read ever but only ends in tears. Thanking my lucky stars that his nursery is not doing world book day fancy dress (confirmed with other mums too).

  28. Kate Woodroffe

    Brilliant. The first prargraph (or two?) describe me exactly. I’m glad to see that I haven’t run out of time to organise costumes for my Tipsy and Tom twins tomorrow. I’ll just pop to tescos to buy some sausages in the morning. Which Tipsy will refuse to wear around her neck because they’re not pretty enough and would cover up the hideous garish print of her peppa pig t-shirt that some kind soul bought her once without realising that I would hate them for doing so for the rest of their lives.

  29. Nicola

    1.08 am and what started as a trip to town just before school pick up to grab the black tuxedo my friend had definitely seen in a charity shop, turned into a “Right…it’s a 6 buttoned long line wedding jacket for a 7 year old not a nearly 10 year old…and its brown…wtf am I going to do now, I have 10 minutes before I have to leave? OK, fancy dress rail…pirates and princesses…bugger. Fancy dress basket of bits…hmmm kind of Samurai/ Ninja over the shoulder tabard thing. Excellent. That might work. Oh and here is a satin shorty kimono on the laydeez nightwear rail. The colours don’t match…it’s ok, I’ll make it a design feature. ” Call 5 different friends as I power walked home as they would by now be standing in the playground about to pick up and I am still 10 minutes away. Nobody answers. Call school 3 times and finally get an answer 12 minutes after official kicking out time. Son discovered in plauground and sent home with his key…we only live three doors away. Get in the house as a friend calls mobile. Stupidly answer instead of manage son’s expectations over lack of Bond costume. Son puts hand in the bag and aaaalll hellll breaaaks lose. Older son heckles from the sidelines saying its rubbish and Kung Fu Panda doesnt wear that and it would look rubbish and anyway we agreed last night that a novelization of a movie doesn’t really count as a book. I lose my shit. Actually slam bag down and have a tantrum. Meanwhile son has discovered the satin kimono and is in raptures. He is very good at Ninja stick twiddling. He is now going as Master Shifu and I have used a stapler, some sellotape and cut some bits from a white wig I have to make noodle moustache and goatee. I used eyelash glue to stick it to his chin and had a practice run at face painting Shifu. And I used a loom band!

    I am a freelancer so today I decided that I would roll with it and enjoy cutting the ears off a big toy rabbit and making Shifu ears on a headband.

    As a coda, son thinks beating up an earless bunny with a Devil Stick is “really fun”.

    Thanks for this one Katie. It’s a corker. Btw…I told actual Capable Louise all about Mummy’s Night Out.. I live in Colchester and she teaches Son 1!!! She was very amused…;)

  30. Jason

    Indya decided yesterday she wanted to be Pikachu, then very thoughtfully changed her mind at 9pm to the witch from ‘Room on the Broom”. She even reminded us she still has her Halloween witch costume in the wardrobe, so no special effort needed after all.
    Can’t help but think you missed an opportunity here – ‘Hurrah for Gin’ is a book isn’t it? Send them in with a gin bottle and a sweary note!

  31. Saskia

    Hah! I’m so glad our school doesn’t dress up for Workd Book Day. They have an author come in and speak instead :). We do have arts week in February which is themed and they dress up for that, but at least it’s not at the same exact time as everyone else (including all the other primaries in town). Plus last year the theme was space and Star Wars. I had two little Darth Vaders. So true to life.

  32. Adrienne

    Brilliant. I have been dreading it for a week. Feeling very proud that I remembered to order blue tights (for twin 1 being Bella Broomstick and otherwise wearing her own clothes with a witches hat -well done daring you’ve really got the measure of what Mummy is capable of) and a black t-shirt (for twin 2) but was still sewing (badly) wings onto the tshirt to make it into Toothless yesterday evening. Still this is a huge step forward for me – I almost feel like capable Louise – except her child will be wearing a completely handmade costume representing a character from an literature classic. Can’t wait to see…

    1. Adrienne

      Stupid me, spoke too soon. 10mins after writing this was seeking alternative costume for twin 1 – seems what she’d chosen didn’t fit. Arrgghh!!

  33. lindsey blake

    From my many years as a school and public librarian -quick ideas for if you have forgotten WBD

    Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – scruffy clothes, a bar of chocolate and, if you can find something shiny, a golden ticket.

    Captain Underpants – only if your child is brave enough but a big pair of pants and a cape and nothing else, when asked to judge a schools WBD costume competition this child was my winner!

    Where’s Wally – everyone has a stripey top, a pair of glasses and a wooly hat – I have used this one and I know EXACTLY when wbd is every year as it is my job.

    Horrid Henry – messy hair, messy clothes, bad attitude

    Gangster Granny – flour in the hair, old lady clothes, assorted jewelry in the handbag and baggy tights.

    Katniss Everdeen – yes slightly older children but put their hair in plait, find a leather jacket and make a bow from a stick on the way to school – probably will make the teachers gossip if your child is below Year 5 though.

    Right got to go and celebrate wbd with my school – I am Maleficent, my head is Snow White and the rest of the teachers are dwarves.

    And remember – books are for life – not just for World Book Day!

    1. Crispaynee

      At last, a positive! As an English teacher with 3 kids of my own, we actually enjoyed sorting 4 costumes every year, and then you have to add nativity costumes ( I counted 9 one year as all 3 were in three different productions with different roles in each. I ended up with a full set of nativity costumes which made me very popular with can-i-borrow friends for years!) Later we added Red Nose day. The secret is to have a box in the attic you throw everything in to recycle as something else the next time around. You get into the habit of grabbing stuff that has potential whenever you see it. You don’t have to be capable Louise and I hate the way supermarkets have commercialised it. Hurraforgin is a great light-hearted take on the whole stressful parenting thing and anti the competitive spirit that invades the parental pick up hour (been there, too!),but primary teachers spend hours decorating classrooms, dressing up themselves and preparing fun activities for our kids – let’s support them just a bit

  34. Alison Purdy

    Oh I so wish you could post pictures in the comments. I have pictorial evidence of Topsy and Tim’s mum’s last attempt at creating costumes for the twins, in one of the original 1960s/70s books. They looked incredible dressed as Gypsies, complete with blacked-up faces! Probably safest in todays PC world to stick to the shop bought Potter costumes!

  35. Pingback: Newborn Photography by Sarah Hart Photography » World Book Day – the magic of sharing a book

  36. Kate

    Ha, I had exactly the sane panic last night when I got an email at 10pm from the Nursery PTA saying it was Book Day! Cobbled together an emergency witch from Room on the Broom as we have a battered hat in the toy and dug an old black18-24m t shirt out of storage (my child is almost 3!). Didn’t bother washing it.

    Capable Louise would be horrified!

  37. Rebecca

    Technically, Topsy and Tim could just go as themselves, couldn’t they? I used to love their books as a kid… long before the TV series, where their mother is a nightmarish Capable Louise… Great post. So glad the World Book Day trauma is done with for another year.

  38. Bron

    Woah …. I didn’t even realise it is WBD!
    It’s 10am damnit! …… oh …… hang on, that’s why there was an email saying to make sure they had a reading book in their bags today. Ahhhh …… the randomly timed alarms through the day where the children are to read for a 10-minute burst is for World Book Day.
    Well that explains it then …… me and daddy had no clue as to the purpose of the book when the reminder popped up in my calendar last night.
    Thank Goodness for a forward thinking (time and money-saving) school …… oh and Gin xx

  39. Emma

    Last year my daughters school asked everyone to come as where’s wally. This led to a local shortage of where’s wally costumes and a tour of all the local ASDA stores in a 20 mile radius trying to find one. This year it’s kids choice, but can I get my daughter to go as where’s wally again so I can get my money’s worth from that fecking costume I drove around for 4 hours to find? Can I feck! She wanted to go as Wednesday Addams. I did point out that the Addams family wasn’t technically a book but she insisted that’s what she wanted. So one black dress and Halloween tights…. even managed to put her hair in plaits. Drove her to school to see 40 kids in the playground dressed as where’s wally….. why can’t I have a kid who does what I say?!

  40. Sharmaigne

    No costumes here, 10 year old has gone in her Pj’s – she’s a real princess as in A Princess and a Pea.

    7 year old has gone in wearing her prettiest nightie as Wendy Darling.. She even came though at 4am to tell me that she had a brilliant idea, sewing her PE kit together to be Peter Pans shadow.

    Brilliant. Not at 4am. But brilliant nonetheless. Money saved :)

  41. Pippa

    I’m envious of the schools that go for the dressing up option. My daughter’s school decided that they should create book characters around eggs, potatoes or wooden spoons.

    I’ll admit they did give some notice and I still wound up making a dash to Hobbycraft. Found a sew your own mermaid kit that would fit nicely round a wooden spoon, thinking mission nearly accomplished.

    At the end of the hour that I had very optimistically allocated yesterday I was a third of the way through. I wound up taking it to work (night shift) and putting it together while I worked.

    Parents have been invited to go in early and see everyone’s work. I have to leave in 12 minutes and I’m still in bed. Need gin, lots of gin.

  42. Sharon

    Ha! I will never forget being told they were learning about the romans and given 2 days notice to provide three little petals with f**ing togas. They helpfully provided a pattern and everything. Not just any old toga, see?
    But I was informed that ‘you can use an old sheet so it won’t cost anything’…… errrrr it will cost a nights sleep and anyway I don’t have old sheets. I just have sheets.You know, enough for the beds…..

    Never understood why primary schools – almost entirely staffed by working women – just do not get that working women may have not factored in random toga making into their schedule……

  43. Hannah

    I’m sitting here reading this while stuffing my face with Ben and Jerry’s, recovering from a somewhat stressful world book day where my son decided to go as Frodo Baggins at 7 o’clock this morning, which led to me frantically sewing him a black wig out of some scrap fake fur from my daughter’s sewing box and one of her headbands and trying to stick fur to his shoes for hairy feet at 7.30 am, without so much as a cup of coffee to wake me up first. I was then so busy at work, I completely forgot that parents were supposed to go into school early this afternoon to read with the little darlings, as part of an open afternoon. Do they not think any of us have jobs? Luckily I’ve fxxxed up on that score before, so my kids weren’t expecting me to show up this time. I’m exhausted now. But this made me feel so much better!

  44. sash

    took my boy in his own clothes today and told him if anyone asked he was ‘kipper’ from the generic shitty school books he comes home with for reading :)

  45. KatyD

    I soooo want to be capable Louise, but as I wrestled my 4 year old into the …yes Harry Potter costume I realised that I actually didn’t give a flying duck! Revelation I blamed Daddy he was in charge of it and poured a large glass of Gin then realised it was 830am.

  46. Stephanie

    The first time by eldest had world book day at nursery she wanted to go as susie sheep from peppa pig, coz that’s totally a book, anyhoo i spent ages sewing (I really really hate sewing!) a handband with white ears and put a pink nose on her, she screamed at me to rub the nose off and wouldn’t wear the headband then after I’d rubbed the pink off her nose she cried coz she wanted it on!! FFS! Since then I let her wear whatever she wants, today she was in a too small Cinderella dress #aintgottimeforthatshit! Thankfully my youngest doesn’t go to nursery on a Thursday!

  47. Jon

    Ha, so funny!! Traumatic morning because of World Book Day. 10 year old was going as Katniss from The Hunger Games and decided at the last minute she didn’t want to take the bow as it was “babyish” and “they don’t allow props!” so in the end just looked like a tarted up 10 year old with long black boots on! The 6 year old was easier though – I went for the ‘pick the costume and the book will follow’ approach. Google was kind enough to provide a list of childrens books featuring ninjas, and I plumped for Night-time Ninja, which I’m sure is great and had an easy-to-remember title. Very pleased to hear she told all the teachers about the book!! S’pose I should buy a copy for her birthday now!

  48. shaz

    Na na na na na…….my son is 18 and the only ‘book’ he now reads is dodgy websites.
    Don’t think I’ll send him to school today as a 70s porn star!!!
    Keep your world book

  49. Julie

    The school playgroup rang to warn me in advance that my strange son had insisted on being face painted as Hitler as his tribute to Mein Kampf!
    Try explaining that one to the other parents

  50. John

    Speaking as a children’s book author/illustrator I’ve never understood what cheap costumes from Tesco’s (or wherever) has anything to do with encouraging reading or a love of books. I’ve all the love for World Book Day, none whatsoever for the school dressing up thing. Books are a personal discovery for children, sure some love the idea of dressing up as characters, but many more do not, and most parents find it a chore (I know I did, and I make books!). Where do struggling readers fit in? Focusing on dressing up misses the whole point of World Book Day, It’s not about parading in costume, it’s about engaging the reader within. Bah!

    1. Katie Post author

      Yes John, that was exactly my point. The dressing up element clouds the whole point and the kids aren’t even dressing up as their favourite books – just whatever is in tesco or their dressing up box. I don’t know why you can’t just being in your favourite book and talk about it with the class. It’s insanity!

  51. Adept Martin

    I think you are all terrible parents, I am going to spend the next 5 months writing an article for the school newsletter about your poor parenting skills using organic ink from a free range squid just off the shore of the Galapagos Islands.
    Books are important, I feel so lucky to have read hundreds of works of literature (and a couple of Dan Brown) and at least 3 were almost as entertaining as watching Netflix.

  52. Lisa Gunter

    I’m crying with laughter, reading this when I shud be getting the kids tea…” Is a pkt of quavers & a handful of grapes classed as dinner “!?

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  57. Kathryn Treeby

    Does anyone else feel sorry for Louise? I’m yet to experience the joys of WBD but know I won’t have a decent costume lined up and will feel totally incapable. But I expect Capable Louise has her own insecurities and being prepared and capable – or appearing to be – are her ways of maintaining some kind of illusion of control over the completely uncontrollable world that is parenthood.

    (I’m guessing she went home and cried after this, wondering why her efforts to be organised and helpful just mean that no one likes her.)

  58. Leigh

    World book day outfits have happily been a thing of the past for a few years now, but suddenly out of the blue, an email from the school about dressing up as a literary character this week. WTF? My son is a teenager! Happily, new email today about year 10 and 11 having mocks so must go in uniform – thank goodness for exams – phew! Double bonus if school cancelled for snow which would call for a midweek G&T obviously – hurrah! X

  59. Paul

    Ha ha! This is great! I have three lads that I bring up alone and it seems like every other week is some f@cking dressing-up day. We’ve got World Book Day tomorrow and then Viking Day next week.

    I’ve bought him an Iron Man costume from Tesco (they ONLY sell superhero and princess costumes!) for ONLY £17 and he hasn’t even tried it on yet.

    Amazon helped out with the Viking costume, another £15, despite the A4 letter from the Viking organisers urging us ‘Not to buy anything special’ and ‘Spray onion or orange net bags silver, to make a lightweight chain mail’ and ‘Make a Viking helmet out of two strips of card, lined with tinfoil’


    Hope they have a ‘Come in School Uniform Day’ soon lol

  60. Vicki Fuery

    Not only has my daughter decided today to change her costume for the third time this week 12 hours before WB-Day whilst I’m man down with flu but she also did so well in class today she has brought Popsie the effing puffin home for the night so now I have to somehow take and print photos and help her write a 1 page essay of our exciting evening together in the magical Fuery household. Just shoot me now please….


    Ha not even you could have planned the real outcome of school closed for snow! Deep joy kids home for the day. Is it gin o’clock yet?

  62. Susie

    I feel I let my child down at her first World Book Day (this surely didn’t exist when I was young?). I popped her in a Gruffalo jumper- job done. Oh the judgemental looks of neglect from the staff and other mums. Peer pressure (on me) says I must buy a stupidly expensive outfit for a book she hasn’t read for next year. Thankfully she is 2 and was delighted with her Gruffalo jumper! And it’s unisex so baby brother can wear it too. That’s just being practical.

  63. Pippa

    Here in Aus book week for my daughter is this week. My morning was sent into total disarray today, as despite early planning on her part the black leggings were MIA! The pre-school/work routine then saw me racing around the house, ransacking everyone’s drawers to find a pair of black leggings – all whilst trying to digest breaky (yes I had managed to throw some into me) and get out the door by 8am! NIGHTMARE. She left the house wearing older daughter’s leggings (ladies size 8 with suspect saggy crutch) and winging about the lack of bobby pins to hold her ears on! FML indeed! What a way to start the week. Whoever invented book week/day – obvs didn’t have kids! Grrrrrr – I was ready for gin at 8.30am on the train (must get a flask!)


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