It’s World Book Day this week, and I’m forever hearing adverts on the radio, advertising fancy dress options, as children across the UK will go into schools dressed up as a character from their favourite book. Does this practice happen in other countries too?
Back in primary school, my usual costumes would be:
- Tracy Beaker
- Mildred Hubble (The Worst Witch)
- Hermione Grainger
- Sophie (from Sophie’s Tom, Sophie’s Snail etc)
The were quite easy to dress up as, because the first three had appeared on TV, and the final one had a drawing on the cover of what she looked like.
But now I’m wondering, if I had to dress up this week as my favourite book character, who would it be, and how would I dress? As an adult, many of the books I read aren’t made into films or TV series, and even less have illustrations on the front and inside the book of what the character looks like.
There would be two options: dress up as a character that people can recognise “oh you’re dressed as Hermione, that’s great”, but even better, would be to dress up as a character and have people ask who you are. That way you can describe to them in detail the character, why you chose them, what book(s) they appear in and encourage them to read a book you like too.
Characters that in recent years who have made an impact on me have been
- Don Quijote in El ingenioso hidalgo don Quixote de la Mancha – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedrea
- Empress Dowager Cixi in Empress Orchid – Anchee Min
- Harriet Ann Jacobs in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl – Harriet Ann Jacobs (does an autobiography count?)
- Hassan in The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
I should have nothing in common with these people and characters, they all come from very different parts of the world, and I haven’t shared any of the same life experiences as them. But their characters show passion, enthusiasm, persistence, bravery and determination, which is something I truly admire.
If you had to dress as a character for World Book Day tomorrow, who would you choose and why?