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What is World Book Day?
World Book Day is an initiative aimed at promoting a love of books and reading in children.
Set up by United Nations culture agency Unesco in 1995, it first reached the UK in 1997 - making this year’s edition the 25th to be held here.
Every year, 15 million book tokens are given to children under the age of 18 through their school or nursery.
These can be redeemed at most bookshops for any one of around a dozen titles that are put on sale specifically for World Book Day.
Or they can be used to get £1 off a book or audiobook.
When is World Book Day 2022?
World Book Day 2022 is set to take place on Thursday 3 March 2022.
However, World Book Day book tokens will be valid at participating retailers between Thursday 17 February and Sunday 27 March.
Why are costumes encouraged?
Costumes are a fun and exciting way to help get children engaged with World Book Day, and in turn get them interested in reading.
Dressing up as their favourite book characters is intended to not only get children interested in reading books themselves, but also to have a conversation with their friends about the books that inspired their outfits and ultimately share those stories.
World Book Day costumes aren’t just for kids either. Teachers and parents are always welcome to dress up too.
Below we’ve rounded up some of the best World Book Day costume ideas for boys and girls of all ages.
What else can I buy?
For even more great items, be sure to keep an eye on our Recommended section which is updated daily with all the best buys for home and garden, also technology, as well as lifestyle and fashion and beauty.
Your little one will love our amazing The Very Hungry Caterpillar costume based on the beloved children’s book by Eric Carle.
It comprises of a green caterpillar outfit with padded sections and brown felt legs.
It has the famous fruit from the story attached to the front with one touch fastenings, so they can be removed and put on different areas.
It is finished in an adorable way with red hood with the eyes, purple antennae and the head of the caterpillar.
The red tights aren’t included, but you can buy them online for an additional £9.
Available in ages 1 to 8. Priced between £14 and £16 depending on size.
Your little girl can dress like Little Red Riding Hood from the famous fairytale of the same name.
The character is known for bringing food to her poorly grandmother and then running to trouble with the big bad wolf, but your daughter will be ready for learning when she puts this on.
The sweet costume comes complete with a red knee-length dress with a stunning white satin-like apron. The costume also features a short, hooded capelet to make her feel brave and empowered.
Available in ages 4 to 12.
Horrid Henry is known for his mischievous and fun attitude, both at home and in school, and your little boy will love taking on his persona for the day.
This costume features his iconic blue and yellow striped jumper and blue trousers, as well as a ‘Horrid Henry’ logo in green to the chest. A mask completes the outfit, making it the ideal easy outfit for not just World Book Day but also fancy dress parties.
Available in ages 5 to 8. Priced between £15 and £16 depending on size.
Kids will love dressing up as their favorite DC speedster in this all-in-one outfit.
This costume has many advantages, mainly the speed at which it can be put on as it’s a jumpsuit with attached gauntlets and boot tops, and also an additional mask and belt. Your youngster will go from sleepy to heroic in no time at all.
It might be more expensive than some of the other options, but you can be sure this one will be used for much more than just World Book Day because it’s so fun and, well, who doesn’t want to feel like a superhero? They may even want to wear this daily.
Available in sizes small, medium and large, or ages 4 to 14.
She’ll want to follow the yellow brick road all the way to school and beyond with this delightful Dorothy costume.
The outfit is made up of a white T-shirt with Dorothy’s signature blue gingham pinafore dress attached.
And where would Dorothy be without her faithful companion Toto? A cuddly soft dog toy made to look like the famous pooch also comes with this costume, along with a basket it can be carried in.
This is a toy she’s sure to adore day after day and year after year, it could even become her new best friend. The addition of the soft toy makes this outfit brilliant value for money too.
A pair of matching blue gingham hair ties which be used to put your daughter’s hair in pigtails will complete the look.
Available in sizes small to extra large, or ages 5 to 13.
Harry Potter is one of the world’s most loved children’s book series, and has also become one of the most popular dress-up outfits for children.
Any child can transform themself in to everyone’s favourite wizard with this fancy dress costume.
The set includes a cape, tie and magic wand that will instantly transport you into the world of Harry Potter as a student at the historic Hogwarts school.
The cape is in a soft jersey material and has a pointed hood, long trumpet sleeves and a fastening at the neckline. It has the classoc Gryffindor colours and features a hook and loop for easy fastening at the back.
There’s also a plastic wand so they can practice all of their favourite spells.
There’s also a Hermione fancy dress costume for £9.99, for fans of Harry’s super smart best friend.
Available in ages 3 to 12.
Roald Dahl is one of the best loved children’s authors and has been adored by youngsters for many generations.
This fun and super cute costume allows children to transform themselves in to the clever fantastic Mr Fox. It includes a burgundy jacket, a fluffy tail, a waistcoat, mask and cravat. All you need to add is the trousers, but a pair of jeans will be fine.
There aren’t many costumes that can be instantly recognised from behind, but with a bushy orange tail this is certainly one of them.
Available in sizes small to large, or ages 4 to 12 plus, with prices starting at £11.48.
Baby shark become a phenomenon for babies, toddlers and children back in 2016, and it shows no sign of slowing down.
It might have started as a song, but as with most things which become overnight sensations, baby shark is now the main character is many books.
This outfit features soft teeth around the hood and a shark fin to complete the look. This soft to touch cape is comfy for your baby to wear meaning they can enjoy playing in it for hours to keep them entertained.
It comes with a Velcro closure at the neck that makes putting it on and taking it off effortless too.
Available in sizes 1 to 3 years.
Inspired by Alice’s magical adventures in Wonderland, this costume is perfect for not only World Book Day, but also birthday parties . . . or should that be un-birthday parties.
This colourful Mad Hatter costume includes a tutu dress with separate collar, bow tie and hat.
Available in sizes small to large, or ages 3 to 8.
One of the most iconic children’s books is The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr, which has first written over 50 years ago.
Dress your little one up as the famous tiger with this adorable outfit, which can also be personalised with their name on the chest if you wish.
It’s easy and comfortable for baby and little ones to wear as the costume closes with velcro fastening at the back, and its made from soft and cosy velour fabric.
The costume also has separate bootees with non-slip paw print soles, and the long stripy tail is also attached with velcro.
Available in sizes 6 months to 3 years.
Little girls will love dressing up as Queen Elsa from Disney hit Frozen. Again, this might have originally been a film, but its huge success has sparked a huge range of merchandise including books so we think that counts.
Of course, this isn’t a costume she’ll only want to wear for the one day either, she’ll want to wear it again and again - so at the bargain price of less than £10 you’ll more than get your moneys worth.
Finish the look with this Elsa wig for children for just £10.99.
Available in sizes 3 to 8 years.
Outfits don’t come much easier than this all-in-one jumpsuit which will have them looking like the fun loving talking cat at the centre of the Dr Seuss book The Cat in the Hat.
The black jumpsuit has a white fur tummy pane and an attached 3D red fabric neck bow arround the neck. There’s also a large fabric top hat and an attachable velcro cat tail.
You just need an eye pencil to draw on the cute little cat nose and whiskers.
Available in ages 3 to 14 plus, with prices between £14.99 and £15.99.
The Adventures of Pinocchio is a novel for children which dates back to the 1880s about an animated puppet who longs to be a real boy.
The costume includes everything your boy needs to go the other way and turn himself in to a puppet - just for the day.
There’s a yellow top with attached blue bow tie, a green waistcoat, red shorts, white gloves, a nose and a feathered yellow hat.
Available in sizes small to extra large, or ages 4 to 14.
David Walliams has written numerous children’s books in more recent years which have been delighting youngsters and their parents alike.
This deluxe costume includes everything they need to become the ‘gangsta’ granny at the centre of one of William’s books of the same name.
There’s a purple top, black skirt, wig, eyemask, bag, pearl necklace and glasses. A plus point of this costume is that different parts of it could be used again in future as the basis of other fancy dress outfits so it really is great value for money.
Available in sizes small to large, or ages 4 to 12 plus, with prices starting at £12.95.