Thursday, March 7, 2013

World Book Day... sort of!

I was amused to discover this morning that today is World Book Day… but only in the UK and Ireland.  

Facebook was this morning full of great photos of kids dressed up for school as knights and dragons and Hermione Grainger and Horrid Henry, but all of them were posted by my British friends.  Seemingly, the rest of the world won’t celebrate UNESCO World Book Day until April 23rd (Note to my American friends - thank me now for the advanced warning that your kid(s) will be asking for a costume for school that day - better to hear it now that at bedtime the evening before!).  

Apparently this discrepancy is because April 23rd often falls within the UK’s Easter school holidays, and not because the British are naturally contrary (although I’m not entirely convinced of that).

I’ll admit to feeling nostalgic for my kids’ elementary school days when they had to dress up for things like the Story Book Parade.  Nostalgia is all I am left with since our family's elementary school days are behind us.  But I know of one particular boy (who might be twelve now and might live in my house) who will feel truly robbed because the overnight maturity required of him as a middle-schooler does not allow him to go to school on World Book Day dressed as his literary heroes, James Bond or Jace Lightwood or Peeta Mellark, in the way he did in previous years as Percy Jackson and Spiderman and Harry Potter (see left)

Oh well, he’ll just have to wait for Halloween to come round again.

Whenever your country celebrates World Book Day – today or in April – I hope you will make a special effort to make a book part of your day – by reading a book in silence or aloud, by listening to an audio book, by giving a book as a gift, by writing a book or by illustrating a book. Or, if you really want to, why not dress up as your favorite book character (can you imagine coming across Rhett Butler or Mr Darcy at the deli counter in the grocery store, or Jamie Fraser at the gym?) – and remember, sometimes playing dress-up is not just for kids!