World Book Day 2015
The plan with this post was to open it with a picture of myself as a child on World Book Day, about 25 years ago. Adorable, cute, smiling at the camera, dressed as my favourite character from a poem by Colin McNaughton or as Mr Greedy (these are the two I remember the most). I texted my mother asking if she had any pictures of me in costume but, because my parents don't care for me as much I previously thought, she didn't have any. Her exact reply 'sorry to disappoint you but I don't think there is any photographic evidence of either of those occasions - what rubbish parents!' And she's right, I was disappointed and they are rubbish parents*.
I loved World Book Day as a kid even if my costumes were basically just a bean bag attached to my stomach (Mr Greedy) or one of my dad's jackets with a price tag attached to it. It's a wonderful occasion for children to get excited about reading, meet from authors and, on the whole, celebrate books.
Looking back, the Mr Greedy costume wasn't the best. I remember constantly readjusting it to stop it falling and I don't think it was even pink. I don't think that's the point though. I loved the Mr Men books and I'll always have this strange, fond memory of spending the school day dressed as one of them.
Side note: If you're a parent then some of you will almost certainly be told tonight by your child that they are expected to come to school tomorrow dressed as a book character. It's fine, just use mascara to make a number of small smudges on their face, rough up their hair and you've got one of Roald Dahl's The Twits. Or Stig of the Dump. Or Mr Stink. There are a surprising number of book characters your child could be if you just make them look really messy.
Now that I'm pretending to be an adult it's fantastic to see thousands of children enjoying the same thing that I did. It's great being able to take part from this side of the fence, helping parents and teachers pick books for their children.
Tomorrow, World Book Day is always on the first Thursday of March, thousands of children will receive a £1 voucher to spend on one of the ten books that should be available in each of our bookshops. We'll also be holding special events in hundreds of our stores with some very excited booksellers who've just been waiting for the opportunity to come to work in fancy dress.
This year's World Book Day books are:
Elmer's Parade by David McKee
The Dinosaur That Pooped A Lot! by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter
A Pirate's Guide to Landlubbing by Jonny Duddle
Magic Animal Friends by Daisy Meadows
Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen by Chris Riddell
The Diary of Dennis the Menace by Steven Butler
Best Mates by Michael Morpurgo
How to be a Dork! by Rachel Renee Russell
Geek Girl: Geek Drama by Holly Smale
Killing the Dead by Marcus Sedgwick
You can get in touch with your local Waterstones to find out more about their planned events.
We'll be keeping an eye out for some of the best costumes out there so please do tweet us your outfits for our World Book Day gallery.
And find out more on the World Book Day website.
*I love you, mum.