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World Book Day Costumes or Books?


It is quite a while since I have included any pictures of my puppets. Then again it is a while since I have had an excuse to use them. I had forgotten just how many I had. Opening the cupboard was like a link to those stories where you enter a magical kingdom such as The Secret Garden or The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. My forgotten mysterious world of puppets.

World Book Day was the perfect reason to indulge in their use. A visit to a sgoil araich (a Gaelic nursery) had been arranged.

The whole concept of World Book Day got me wondering as I watched comments on social media about costumes and where to get bits and pieces to dress up children for the event.

Some parents were unhappy when schools didn’t encourage this for their pupils. I have to say there are a few valid reasons for taking this stance which has nothing to do with ‘being a spoil sport’.

Not every parent has the time or quite frankly the money to buy costumes or materials to make outfits. A good enough reason in itself.

It is however another reason why I think perhaps the dressing up of children in their favourite character is not the way to go. The whole emphasis, BOOKS seems to have fallen away, dressing up as characters and not necessary characters that children have read about appears to have taken over.

World Book Day - yet how many pictures were there of actual books? Thankfully independent bookshops put on a good showing, with both The Ullapool Bookshop and The Highland Bookshop in Fort William highlighting lots of interesting reading material.

Most other photographs appeared to be of children's outfits with not a book in sight. Where were the actual book events or pictures of books?

Bun Sgoil Cnoc na Creige I heard had a book swap. Books were given the main focus for the day. Surely that is the sort of thing that should be encouraged. If nothing else at least books were involved. It allows those children who don’t have the means to buy a new book a chance to exchange their old book for a new one. Book swaps are also a lot more environmentally friendly than most children’s dressing-up clothes.

There are always reasons for children to dress up. There are far fewer reasons for books to take the limelight.

You could argue that the book I used for my visit is well hidden in the photograph above. Why isn’t it front and centre? Well because part of the game was guessing what book I was going to read from the puppet clues. The bairns knew I was coming in to share a book with them. Books were the whole reason for me being there. If you look closely the book is still there hovering in the background. We shared the story, the bairns reacted, enjoyed, and took part in the activity. Although it did bring home how many of us wear dark and grey clothes. All I can say is thank goodness for colourful socks!

I’m glad there is such a thing as world book day. Anything that encourages people to read is a good thing. It would be nice though if we could get back to focusing on the books for the day rather than on the costumes.

As to my puppets, well it was nice some of them could have this little outing. Next time perhaps my Grumpa puppet will get a chance again.

I hope readers of every age got the chance to buy a book or two or indulge in a visit to a library to take out even more books.

Happy reading everyone.

Ps The book I used was Wow! Thuirt A’ Chailleach-Oidhche le Tim Hopgood A’ Ghàidhlig le Tormod Chaimbeul

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