For the past 20 years, British children have spent one day in March living out their favorite imaginary stories: They arrive at school with a Mary Poppins umbrella, round Harry Potter glasses, a striped Where’s Waldo t-shirt, or a green Oompa Loompa wig. This isn’t Halloween in springtime. It’s World Book Day, a celebration of children’s literature.
This year, the U.K. was set to observe World Book Day March 2, although it will be celebrated April 23 in the United States. It’s not a government-sponsored holiday — rather, it’s a charity initiative, intended to get kids excited about reading (and, in some cases, to get adults excited too). Children receive book tokens that they can then swap out for one of the ten World Book Day books. The World Book Day charity is expected to give out 15 million tokens to kids around the U.K.
Need last-minute costume ideas? Here are some classics:
And if none of those outfits cut it for you, here are some photos from 2016 that might inspire:
And here are some recommendations for books to read with your children (besides the Harry Potter series and Dr. Seuss, of course):
For the younger kiddos, don’t forget the classic picture books: “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs,” “The Rainbow Fish,” “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” “Angelina Ballerina,” “The Giving Tree,” “Tikki Tikki Tembo” and “Blueberries For Sal” is a selection of just a few stories that never seem to get boring, no matter how old you are.
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