Is it just me who dreads the ‘Dress up for World Book Day’ letter from school?
Every year I’ve been caught off-guard by the last-minute letter from school informing me about World Book Day. Every year except last year, that is. That’s because last year the teachers at Youngest’s school completely forgot about it (Hoorah!).
Is it just me who is filled with terror the moment my phone pings with a message from school saying ‘Your child can dress as their favourite character from a book to celebrate World Book Day’? Even though I love books and I love making things, I always end up running around like a headless chicken trying to sort out a blimin’ costume for said event!
Every year, I secretly hope Emily will decide to read Mallory Towers or St. Trinians and decide to dress as a school girl. Every year I put on my best ‘enthusiastic face’ when she excitedly shouts out possible candidates, ‘The BFG!’, ‘A minion!’, ‘Little Red Riding Hood!’
Last week my mobile phone pinged with the dreaded World Book Day text. I waited at the school gate, hoping against hope that Emily would choose a simple World Book Day costume. She bounded towards me like an expectant puppy dog, unable to contain her excitement.
‘It’s World Book Day next week, Mummy, and I know exactly what I want to dress up as!!’ She squealed.
‘A St. Trinian?’ I offered hopefully.
‘A what?’ She said quizzically, doing a bit of an Elvis thing with her lip, her eyebrows pinched into a confused frown. Then she shrugged and began to jump up and down again.
‘I’m going to dress as TOTORO!’
Her face split into the widest grin imaginable as she looked up at me expectantly with her big, brown puppy dog eyes.
‘Totoro?’ I replied, barely able to disguise the note of panic in my voice. Her grin widened and she nodded rapidly, still bouncing on her toes.
‘Okay. I’ll see what I can do…’ (Rough translation: ‘Totoro!!!! How in the world am I going to make a blimin’ Totoro costume!!!)
My Neighbour Totoro.
Regular readers will know how much Emily loves Totoro. She loves the book, the cartoon and she especially loves the stunning Lineby Line Poster the LA-based artist Mike Matola sent her last year, (Emily’s very own Totoro portrait and letter from America).
How could I let her down? If Emily wanted to dress as Totoro, I was going to make sure she did dress as Totoro.
I rushed to my fabric box…then I thought better of it and rushed to my laptop instead, clicking through to the Amazon website! What? Did you really think I was going to be able to make a Totoro costume in a week?!
Amazon delivers the goods!
Thanks to my NUS Extra Discount Card (Money-saving tip: How to get an NUS Student Discount Card), I get Amazon Prime FREE for six months. This means as well as having access to Amazon Prime Video and Music, I get unlimited next day delivery on eligible products.
It didn’t take long for me to find the perfect Totoro costume for Emily (HERE). What’s more, it was eligible for free next day delivery – this was important as the big day was less than a week away. I wasted no time in placing my order and popped the cork on a bottle of Prosecco to celebrate my World Book Day costume victory.
Emily, you shall go to the ‘World Book Day’ Ball!
Sure enough, the Amazon parcel arrived the next day and I waited until Emily was home from school to surprise her with it! It was ‘just right’ and she absolutely loved it. It wasn’t cheap, at £18, but I have to say it was worth every penny after seeing her reaction.
Emily was delighted with her Totoro costume and put it on immediately. She absolutely loved it and showed her appreciation with lots of bouncing, jumping and grinning, together with lots of cuddles.
Emily looks fantastic in her Totoro costume. The only downside was having to fix a broken zip at the back, as I didn’t have time to send for a replacement. However, I didn’t mind spending a bit of time repairing it because I was still basking in the glory of being a fully fledged ‘World Book Day Costume Hero’, instead of a villain!
I still ended up making Totoro…
Fresh from my World Book Day costume success, Emily asked if we could do a craft activity together at the weekend. I readily agreed. She suggested looking on Pinterest for Totoro crafts.
After browsing through some lovely ideas we decided to have a go at making a Totoro cuddly toy, using the DIY Totoro tutorial instructions over at Cheek & Stitch (HERE). However, an hour into our craft activity and somehow ‘we’ turned into ‘me’. Emily had cut out one of Totoro’s eyes and a nose for me but soon became sidetracked by the Totoro DVD she suggested we watch to get us ‘in the Totoro toy-making mood’.
On and on I crafted. I sewed my way through an entire Totoro DVD, teatime, a fast-forward replay of the Brit Awards 2017 for Beth’s benefit and right through Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (Don’t you just love Ant and Dec?).
Finally, Emily’s Totoro toy was finished, (thanks for all your hard work, Emily!).
What do you think?
Over to you.
If you’re a parent of school-age children, does World Book Day fill you with excitement or dread? Are you a costume maker or a costume buyer? Have you come up with any World Book Day costume delights or costume disasters? As always, I’d love to hear from you.
Of course, World Book Day isn’t just about the costumes, it’s about the books and the joy of reading. For more information about World Book Day, now in its 20th year, visit the:
Would this bring us full circle and back to Moonface? I thing there may be 2 in my life actually and I’m not sure we met through both of them! I’m afraid I like it, I get very excited by these things. Probably because I was a box of smarties once in 1909. I love her costume, I love your stoicism in the face of a sewing and craft project. I have no idea who this guy is – related to Toto perhaps? Most importantly, funny, relatable and lovely you shining through (needle & cotton in hand)! X
Aw, funny, relatable and lovely me? You’ve made my day! Moonface is a bit easier than Totoro!!! I really need to feature my friend Tracey, who makes the most amazing World Book Day Costumes…Phileas Fogg, complete with hot air balloon…A Wonka Bar that was so authentic, the staff at Charlie and The Chocolate Factory musical they went to in it thought it was from their props department!
I love the teddy, it’s so cute! AND, big bonus that the costume doubles as a onesie – definitely worth the £18 I think. I’m with you on this one too but for different reasons to you – I want to make a fab costume but Remy hates wearing costumes in front of people. This year she’s chosen boring matilda – a blue dress, white tights and a pink bow. Grrrr. BORING!!!!
Ha! You can make Emily’s next year then!
Oh this is great – you did amazingly well! You need to speak to Rhyming With Wine – she sounds like she’s amazing with World Book Day! It is a pinterest mum’s dream – I’m always so disorganised on it – thank goodness they are all at senior school now! #DreamTeam
Let’s just say you definitely nailed it to become a world book day hero. Love the outfit and the mini plush Totoro, good job, I’m very impressed #dreamteam
Jane your Totoro is sooo cute! I’m dreading WBD when bran starts school! can he go as a ninja turtle each year?!!
I’ve never heard of Totoro, but will hunt it out as it sounds lovely. What beautiful ilustrations. I used to hate World Book Day as I’m not crafty and resented spending money on something that we’d only need for a day.
Now the Tubblet is older, her school still does it, but it’s up to her if she does it and this year she didn’t want too. They gave them a choice between Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and A N Other book this year. All fine books, but as it’s a girl’s school, they could have picked books with better female characters. HP is fine, but Lord of the Rings?!
Oh, dear! That’s a bit prohibitive! Dressing up with a dress code!! Bet you’re relieved she didn’t want to do it! Thanks for your comment!
I love books. I love reading. My kids love reading. But World Book Day is a WHOLE WORLD OF PAIN. I am currently sitting in a heap in the corner of my kitchen, twitching, after finally delivering my children to school (late) in some semblance of the characters they requested. Fancy dress has a lot to answer for.
My daughter has just gone up to senior school so does not have a world book day dress up day, thank goodness!! It was lovely to see all the lovely costumes on social media knowing I hadn’t had to go through that stress lol.
That costume looks brilliant, a definite #win! We got the last second – yay it’s World Book Day and you can come dressed up – message from playgroup. I wonder if they were secretly prepping us parents for the school version we are going to get next year. Luckily LB wanted to be Tinkerbell and she already had the complete outfit… phew! Thanks so much for linking up to the #Dreamteam x
Haha, I think I’d want my little one to choose a school kid character too! My son is just at nursery but somehow he has always missed world book day so I’ve managed to avoid it. He loves dressing up though so I’m sure he’ll come up with some weird and wonderful requests when the time comes. You’re daughter looks ace though! Thanks for sharing your post on #fortheloveofBLOG