Authors which Inspire Popular World Book Day Costumes

Whether your children were dressed to impress for home schooling and Zoom calls, or settled down in a real classroom, World Book Day is over for another year – and parents can give a sigh of relief that their questionable outfit-crafting skills aren’t needed again for a while. 

But just because the literary event is over, it doesn’t mean you have to stop reading, or that the magic and imagination needs to end. In fact, a survey ran by nursery chain Kiddi Caru suggested that 83% of parents read to their child as part of a bedtime routine – so perhaps, reading isn’t a dying art after all.  

If World Book Day 2021 has inspired you to start reading more, we’ve got the perfect guide to the authors which dictate some of the most popular costumes year after year – and who knows, you might find your child’s new favourite bedtime story.

Julia Donaldson

Best-known as the author of The Gruffalo, with the iconic and unique creature being amongst one of the most popular World Book Day characters with pre-schoolers. Donaldson’s books are a huge hit with children under five. With the likes of The Gruffalo, Zog, Room on the Broom and Stick Man also being turned into televised productions, and shown around Christmas time, the appeal of these characters can be enjoyed all year round – and not just on World Book Day.

But what makes Donaldson’s books so popular, and much-loved by children? Of course, there are the bright illustrations by Axel Scheffler, which help spark curiosity and imagination. The stories are also written in verse, with rhyme being a key element to the storyline and flow. Therefore, it’s a great way to introduce young children to the sounds of words and rhyme, as well as keeping them engaged throughout.

Beatrix Potter

Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mr Jeremy Fisher and Mr Tod. Here are just a few of Beatrix Potter’s loveable characters who have made story times memorable for decades. Creating animal costumes for World Book Day is always an easy option, with the use of face paints or masks bringing the characters to life.

But there’s something magical about these tales. The household pets and other woodland creatures are personified, bringing with them, imaginative qualities. The books are set in rural countryside, with the illustrations further highlighting the beauty of nature and our surrounds.

Of course, young children will be more familiar with the Peter Rabbit series on CBeebies, with the inquisitive rabbit exploring several themes such as freedom and following his dreams, as well as possessing such traits as cheekiness, curiosity and being outdoorsy – all similar characteristics that children can relate to.

Roald Dahl

With the magic behind such characters as Charlie Bucket, Miss Trunchbull, The Twits and the eponymous BFG, Roald Dahl’s books have been loved by children – and adults alike – for years. The iconic author also commissioned three World Book Day titles: Roald Dahl’s Incredible Chocolate Box, Roald Dahl’s Fantabulous Facts, and The Great Mouse Plot, allowing his legacy in literature to live on.

Often told from the point of view of a child, Dahl’s works are whimsical and fantastical, with good always triumphing over bad, or evil. It’s his playful use of language and invention of new words which add to the fantasy element and make his stories much-loved. How could we not mention Frobscottle – the green drink, the BFG drank – or Snozzberry, the fruit which is a part of the lickable wallpaper in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

He also added these eight principles to the majority of his works – how many can you spot in your favourite title?

  1. Just add chocolate
  2. Adults can be scary
  3. Bad things happen
  4. Revenge is sweet
  5. Keep a wicked sense of humour
  6. Pick perfect pictures
  7. Films are fun… but books are better!
  8. Food is fun!
Eve Crabtree

Eve Crabtree is a journalist with a passion for interior design. She keeps up to date with the latest trends in the interior industry and regularly tests her hand at crafting and redecorating during her spare time.