World Book Day changes lives through a love of books and shared reading. Their mission is to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own.
The last time I got involved in World Book Day was way back when I was still in primary school and I went to school dressed as Captain Underpants (my favourite book at the time). It was the perfect excuse to continue being a bit of a class clown by wearing a pair of boxers over my school trousers. Primary school is where I started to take an interest in reading outside of the classroom, but I can’t pretend I was some bookworm, way ahead of my class academically. Nope, I read books like; The Toilet of Doom, The Killer Underpants (there’s a theme there), and A Series of Fortunate Events. But however daft some of the titles were, it’s where I got my interest for different stories and probably why I find myself in a job that requires me to write.
Anyway, since then I’ve certainly done my fair share of dressing up over the years, just not for World Book Day. I forgot about it to a certain extent. Until this week when Ivy’s pre-school informed us the kids can dress up on Thursday as their favourite book. After the initial thoughts of “shit, are we going to have to creat an outfit?!” we realised we have a drawer full of princess fancy dress ready to go! With the knowledge she was going to pre-school as the Tangled Princess AKA Rapunzel, I’ve never seen Ivy get ready and out the door so quickly.
Books have factored into Ivy’s life since she was a baby, and we’ve always used reading as part of her bedtime routine to try and get some level of calm before she goes to sleep. In the last 3 and a half years we’ve tried so many books, and I wanted to share some of the classics, and new finds we’ve loved.
That’s not my…
This series is definitely for earlier years, or when you’d rather get them to bed as quick as possible, because they’re nice and short. They’re great for sensory development, with bumpy, shiny, fluffy features to touch throughout the book.
Five Minutes’ Peace
Not only something we all seek as parents, but also a very good book. I’d like to say Ivy got the message in the book that sometimes parents need a rest from the chaos caused by their children, but she just likes the fact the kids jump in the bath and ruin mum’s chill out time!
Little Miss Collection
As a kids book series, Mr Men has been a staple for many people over the years. For Ivy’s third birthday she was gifted the full ‘Little Miss’ collection, made up of 36 books. We decided to do a book a night and it’s gone down an absolute storm. With Little Miss Inventor and Little Miss Somersault, the characters are great for a bit of creativity, but my advice is to maybe skip Little Miss Naughty… it’s full of bad ideas!
Topsy and Tim
You’ve probably heard of this pair on your TV. Not only do they do good episodes for kids, but the book collection tells stories from different situations, including camping trips and going to school, and helpful books like a trip to the doctor and dentist so you can start to familiarise your kids on what they can expect.
Little Bear Won’t Sleep
A book before bed doesn’t always encourage calm, so we started buying books that might help with the messages that going to bed is a good thing. A nice story, and a little help for those difficult bedtime routines.
Flip Flap Safari Book
There will always be favourite books that you’ll find yourself having to read night after night. Fortunately, this book is a rhyming book and way more enjoyable for both us and Ivy. Also, a great way to start learning about different animals.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
An absolute classic. It has sensory benefits as well as an opportunity to learn about numbers and fruits, but it lives on our shelf because how could you not have it?!
Who’s Hiding on the River
With the ability to pull back, and slide flaps of paper to reveal more of the story, this book is great for those nights where keeping attention on the book is proving more difficult, so having something to do as part of it really helps. Similar books such as ‘Peep Inside the Zoo’ are also great for learning about different animals and their characteristics.
Dream Big Little Leader
Absolutely love this book. Definitely as Ivy has got a little bit older (due to attention span). ‘Dream Big Little Leader’ features 18, black women who have stood out in American history. From everyday women who did extraordinary things to famous faces and heroes. We wanted Ivy to read about amazing things that these women have done!
The Mega Magic Hair Swap
Ivy’s got amazing curly hair, and we want her to love it as much as we do! So, this book was a must with it’s own description as ‘A joyful and fun story about celebrating differences and loving yourself from head to toe!‘ It does just that.
I Dare You Not to Yawn
Back to the theme of books that help you get into a bedtime frame of mind. This book will, in some cases, actually make your little one yawn. It’s also had an effect on us when reading it too! And if that’s not a good enough reason to read it, then I don’t know what is.
I could go on forever about the different books that we’ve enjoyed at different stages of Ivy growing up. But I hope some of those suggestions will help. World Book Day is a fantastic idea, if not for getting kids to read, for getting my daughter dressed and out of the front door on time!