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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

March 14, 2006

National Ignorance Day

Week before last was National Book Day (or is it International Book Day? I can never remember... UPDATE: thanks to Marie, I realise why it seemed wrong: World Book Day is the correct name), but for some reason my kids' school decided to celebrate a week late, and so it went that on Thursday and Friday last week, the chillun were encouraged to turn up at school dressed as their favourite character from a book.

CJ made full use of her White Witch Narniaâ„¢ dress. Didi went, on Thursday, as the Bad Tempered Ladybird, and on Friday (since the school as a whole was celebrating Alice), she went as one of the playing cards, a popular choice. Didi's (quite cute) teacher was dressed as the White Rabbit, which wasn't as sexy as I might have hoped.

But there was something about the whole thing that really depressed me. I know I shouldn't let it bother me, but it did. There were too many kids in costumes unrelated to Children's literature, which I put down to a mixture of laziness and ignorance on the part of their parents. For example, there may well indeed be Star Wars books, based on the franchise, and I know that Karen Traviss has written some. I'm sure they're a riot, but they're not children's books, are they?

And while Spiderman and Batman might have been rebranded as literature for this age, it be adults who have so rebranded, and comic books are not children's books, no more than Winnie-ther-Pooh is a character in the Beano.

Given that the idea of the dressing up day was to celebrate books and children's literature, I really do think that parents could have (a) made more of an effort and that (b) the school might have been a bit clearer in excluding bog-standard fancy dress stuff based on popular Pixar films and the like. Given their age, if these kids haven't been exposed to, say, any of the following list:

  • Winnie the Pooh/House at Pooh Corner

  • Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass

  • Paddington Books

  • Moomin Books

  • Wind in the Willows

  • The Gruffalo

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar

  • Horrid Henry

...I can't help thinking there's something seriously wrong. And I fail to see how allowing little Adam Deficit Disorder to come to school dressed in his Spiderman pyjamas encourages him to read, or to want to read, now or in the future.


  • "Didi's (quite cute) teacher was dressed as the White Rabbit, which wasn't as sexy as I might have hoped." LOL, as they say!

    Good post.

    Ironically my son goes to school in his Spiderman pyjamas on most days, because I can't handle the mind-quakeing trauma of getting him to wear his uniform in the morning.

    By Blogger SimonHolyHoses, at 8:48 am  

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