When, which books are available, and who will they be disguised as?

2023 World Book Day aims to promote the love of books (Handout)

2023 World Book Day aims to promote the love of books (Handout)

World Book Day is an initiative that helps promote the importance of reading for young children.

The annual event was created by Unesco on April 23, 1995.

It is a worldwide movement celebrating the world of books and reading and is celebrated in over 100 countries.

World Book Day 2023 falls on March 2, and schoolchildren are encouraged to go to school by dressing up as their favorite character while bringing the accompanying book with them.

Usually in schools, that day each child will introduce their chosen book, discuss the story and why they chose that character, and sometimes a competition is held for the most original costume.

The mission of World Book Day is to promote literacy and reading for pleasure, and to ensure that every child in the world has a book of their own.

The power of reading for kids

Reading is one of the most effective ways to master the power of language.

Gaining the habit of reading books, especially at a young age, helps to develop their imagination and significantly increases their brain development.

Whether or not a child reads for pleasure has been cited as one of the single greatest indicators of a child’s future success, even more than family circumstances, parents’ income, or educational attainment.

The first World Book Day in the UK and Ireland took place in 1997 and continues to encourage young people to explore the joys of reading.

£1 book list for World Book Day

The list of books released for £1 for World Book Day in the UK and Ireland for 2023 includes:

  • Lifesize Creepy Crawlies, Sophy Henn (Red Shed, Farshore)

  • Billy’s Courage, by Tom Percival (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

  • You Choose Your Adventure, Pippa Goodhart, illustrated by Nick Sharratt (Puffin)

  • Dave Pigeon: Bookshop Mayhem, Swapna Haddow, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey (Faber)

  • Marvel Spider-Man the Amazing Pocket Guide, by Catherine Saunders (DK)

  • The Winged Child: Attack of the Raging Robot, by Lenny Henry, illustrated by Keenon Ferrell (Macmillan Children’s Books)

  • A Dragonland Adventure, Katie Tsang and Kevin Tsang (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)

  • Strangeworlds Travel Agency: Adventure in the Floating Mountains, by LD Lapinski (Hachette Kids Group)

  • Kay’s Brilliant Brains, Adam Kay, illustrated by Henry Paker (Puffin)

  • Boot It!, AM Dassu, illustrated by Zainab Faidhi (Old Barn Books)

  • Being Allies: Real Conversations About Showing off, Ruining Everything, and Trying Again, by Shakirah Bourne and Dana Alison Levy (DK)

  • Hazel Tree Farm: One Stormy Night, Alma Jordan, illustrated by Margaret Suggs (O’Brien Press) (Ireland only)

  • Rita agus an Dragún, Máire Zepf, illustrated by Mr. Ando (An tSnáthaid Mhór) (Ireland only)

  • Cyw, by Anni LlÅn (Y Lolfa) (Wales only)

Costume ideas for World Book Day

The beauty of dressing like a character for World Book Day means the options are endless, and many are choosing to DIY their own costumes.

Kids may choose to go as a classic character like the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland or the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia.

Alternatively, kids can choose a more modern character like Gangsta Granny or Harry Potter. Some may even come across as their favorite movie or anime character.

Classic character book ideas

  • Paddington

  • Mad Hatter

  • Ompa Loompa

  • Snow White

  • Alice in Wonderland

modern character book ideas

  • Miss Root

  • supertayto

  • Matilda

  • Harry Potter

  • Disney Princess

Costumes for certain characters can be purchased online or in costume stores. Or, kids and parents can get creative and make their own costumes from scratch with items found around the house or outfits from charity shops.

World Book Day costumes for children – with pictures

Swipe to see our favorite kids' costumes for World Book Day...:

Swipe to see our favorite kids’ costumes for World Book Day…:

Alice in Wonderland:

Alice in Wonderland:

Hungry Caterpillar:

Hungry Caterpillar:



Harry Potter:

Harry Potter:

Willy Wonka:

Willy Wonka:

Red Riding Hood:

Red Riding Hood:



Fantastic Mr. Fox:

Fantastic Mr. Fox:

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