This year marks 76 years of the CBCA Book Week in Australia – where the Children’s Book Council of Australia dedicates one week to celebrating books and children’s authors and illustrators. The official dates are 21-27 August, however schools around the country often celebrate at different times and in our industry, it is more like 'Costume Month' than 'Book Week'! Here in New Zealand we may not celebrate the same way but that doesn’t mean we can’t find inspiration here for Book Day dress-up at school…
Each year, the celebration is teamed with an official theme, this year it is: “Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds’. Schools and their students are not obligated to follow the theme, with many just hosting book celebration days and dress up parades celebrating favourite literary characters alike. However, this years’ theme makes it pretty easy to get behind. Here’s how!
Head back in time and turn back the clock to celebrate the old, the ancient or even the prehistoric! There are tonnes of incredible books, both fiction and non-fiction that enthral kids of all ages with amazing facts and/or illustrations about Dinosaurs, both ferocious for the older kids and cute for the pre-schoolers. Think ancient Egypt, Explorers, Medieval Knights, Princesses and Princes or pirates on the seven seas. ‘Old Worlds’ don’t have to be larger than life or scary…. Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Jack and Jill… the nursery rhymes we grew up with all tell story of an old world. Jack and Jill didn’t head up the hill to get better 4G reception and Goldilocks didn’t use the Three Bears NETFLIX account!
Explore ‘New Worlds’ with books that take us to new countries and tell tales of people just like us that live in other cultures, Bollywood, France, in the outback or Antarctica! Books that take us on dystopian adventures like The Hunger Games, or out in to space with astronauts and aliens. There are endless books about animals! Birds, native animals, Bunnies, Dogs, Lions and Tigers, and Cats! A basic Rabbit costume can be turned in to Peter Rabbit, Guess How Much I Love You, The March Hare… A Tiger can be the Tiger Who Came to Tea, The Last Tiger or Daniel Tiger thanks to the versatility of a basic costume.
Perhaps the easiest one of all! Most books that capture the imaginations of young readers take them on fantastical journeys of adventure, with magic and make believe. Mermaids and Unicorns live here. Fall down the rabbit hole, head over the rainbow, climb aboard the Hogwarts Express, hold on to your Golden Ticket or fly towards the second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning… Other Worlds await at every turn!
J.K Rowling, Roald Dahl and Lewis Carrol have been taking us to ‘Other World’s’ for decades. Enid Blyton gave us the Magic Faraway Tree and the vast array of mischief and adventure that lived in the lands that would visit the top of the tree and its funny little community.
No matter what your little literary fan wants to dress as for Book Day Celebrations – the sole purpose of these events it to celebrate and it should be fun! Speaking of celebrations… there is usually another school celebration happening in August for the littlest learners of all – Year 1 Students, the new generation of school kids for 2021 often celebrate their 100th Day of School with games and dress ups all around the number 100! One hundred days of being a big school kid and learning to count to 100 comes with the fun activity of dressing up as 100-year-old people! Fresh little faces with pretend spectacles, walking sticks, rollers in hair and drawn on wrinkles are a funny and giggly way to celebrate this heart-warming milestone!
Let us help you get in the spirit for Book Celebrations or 100 Days of School this year! Don’t forget that Pre-Schoolers, Primary School Kids and Teachers can all join in the fun!