Boys World Book Day Ideas

clock Monday, February 24, 2014 at 01:27PM

Not all boys enjoy reading. At times it can be an outright chore to get them to sit down and read the book they bought home from school, especially with so many distractions and the allurement of the shiny Apple iPad sat across the room, or big brother playing on the PlayStation upstairs. That’s why schools all over the country put such an emphasis on World Book Day, encouraging kids to dress up and become part of the story to try to get them interested and involved. Any occasion that inspires children to pick up a book and read, rather than having their eyes glued to a TV screen, computer monitor or Tablet pc can only be a good thing.


But what does he dress up as? Encourage your child to stretch his imagination when choosing his costume. Maybe you know a lot of his friends are going as Harry Potter, So let him be Ron Weasley and stand out from the crowed, or he could even become an Oompa Loompa from Charlie and the Chocolate factory.

Still Stuck? Here are a few ideas to get the cogs turning…


Horrid Henry

Horrid Henry, by author Francesca Simon, started out as a book series and has since expanded, now with a range of  twenty-four books published, Six joke books, Fourteen activity books, a cartoon series on CITV and even a 3D live-action movie!

The stories usually involve Henry facing a problem and trying to find a solution, usually getting into trouble and causing mischief along the way.

Alternatively, Horrid Henry has a younger brother, a goody two-shoes named Perfect Peter; Horrid Henrys polar opposite.

Horrid Henry can be an easy costume to knock up. We stock either the whole costume (which comes with the Jumper, Trousers and Mask) or just the jumper, which can be worn with his own jeans.

Peter Pan

Peter Pan was first penned by J.M.Barrie, and has since been loved by every generation

The boy who never grew up has been the star of books, various movies (both animated and live action), Cartoons, even Panto!.

Peter Pan is a great character for fancy dress, iconic for his green tunic, green trousers, pointed, feathered hat and a sword always to hand!

If Peter’s a no go, then why not try Captain Hook, one of his many pirates, a lost boy (depicted in the Disney movie as boys in animal costumes, or often otherwise seen as young boys dressed in leaves, furs and ragged clothes) or even Wendy’s little brothers, John (complete with his top hat and umbrella) or Michael (with his trusty teddy).


James and the Giant Peach

A much loved children’s novel written by Roald Dahl in 1961, James and the Giant Peach is the story of a young orphan boy who enters a magically giant peach, where he meets seven just as giant insects, the 8 of them together taking an adventure across the world in the peach!

Did you know: James and the giant peach was originally penned as James and the Giant Cherry, but was changed by Dahl, who said a peach was “prettier, bigger and squishier than a cherry” and the Giant Peach is the story of a young orphan boy who enters a magically giant peach, where he meets seven just as giant insects, the 8 of them together taking an adventure across the world in the peach!

Also made into a live action and stop-motion movie by Disney in the nineties, which was produced by Tim Burton, James and the Giant Peach was nominated for an Academy Award, and won Best Animated Feature Film at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

There are lots of options for James and the Giant Peach fancy dress. With the options of James Henry Trotter, any of the male insects (Mr. Grasshopper, Mr. Centipede or Earthworm), or even the peach itself!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, another Roald Dahl classic, is probably one of the most famous works by the author, having been adapted many times into movies (like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the cult classic featuring Gene Wilder, and more recently, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp), and even a stage musical London’s West End.

The story is about Charlie Bucket, a boy from a poor family, who wins a Golden Ticket to enter the mysterious Willy Wonkas chocolate Factory, where – along with 4 other ticket winners and their parents – they take a tour of the bizarre and truly unique factory, loosing kids along the way.

The most popular costume choices for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are Willy Wonka himself, and his workers, the Oompa Loompas (whom Willy Wonka claims to have saved from the Whangdoodles, Hornswogglers, and Snozzwangers of Loompaland in West Africa). Other characters that could be replicated include: Charlie Bucket, in poorer clothes and baring his golden ticket, Augustus Gloop, the greedier, fatter child of the bunch, or Mike Teevee described as ‘a boy who does nothing but watch television’.

Harry Potter

As a series that got a whole generation reading, Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling is one of the biggest selling children books of all time, now with 7 novels, 3 spin off books, 8 blockbuster movies, a theme park and a studio tour.

Did you know: The use of a pen name was suggested to her by her publisher, Barry Cunningham, who thought that young boys might be put off if they knew it was written by a woman. The ’J’ in J.K.Rowling stands for Joanne, her first name, and the ‘K’ for ‘Kathleen’, her grandmothers name.

With a whole wizarding world to choose from, there are countless options for Harry Potter Book Day costumes. Whether you opt for the title character, Harry Potter with his Hogwarts robe, glasses and lightning bolt scar, Harry best friend, Ron Weasley, notorious for his ginger hair, Lord Voldemort He Who Must Not Be Name, in a black wizards robe with grey, ghostly skin, or one of his Death Eaters, Professor Dumbledore, in a long white wig and beard, you could even go as Harry in his Quidditch Uniform, or just a Hogwarts student of your choice from one of the following houses:

Gryffindor: Gryffindor values courage, bravery, daring and chivalry. Founded by Godric Gryffindor, their representative animal is a Lion, the Head of House is transfiguration professor, Minerva McGonagall, and House Ghost, Nearly Headless Nick. Gryffindor colours are Red and Yellow/Gold. Notable pupils include: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Fred and George Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas.

Ravenclaw: Ravenclaws are known for their intelligence, creativity and whit. Founded by Rowena Ravenclaw, their mascot is a Raven, the head of House is Charms Professor, Filius Flitwich, and the house ghost is The Grey Lady (Secretly Helena Ravenclaw, the founders’ daughter). colours are Blue and Grey/Silver. Notable students include: Roger Davis, Terry Boot and Gilderoy Lockhart.

Hufflepuff: Hufflepuff house pupils are hardworking, patient, just and loyal. Founded by Helga Hufflepuff, their mascot is a badger. Head of House is Herbology Professor, Pomona Sprout, and their house ghost is the Fat Friar. Their house colouts are Yellow and Black. Prominent pupils include: Cedric Diggory, Zacharias Smith and Ernie MacMillan. 

Slytherin: Pupils in Slytherin are Resourceful, cunning, ambitious, show leadership skills and are often pure blood. Founded by Salazar Slytherin, their house mascot is a Serpent. The head of house is Potions Professor, Severus Snape,  and the Ghost of Slytherin is the Bloody Barron. Slytherin colours are Green and Grey/Silver. Notable Slytherin pupils include: Draco Malfoy, Gregory Goyle, Vincent Crabbe and Tom Riddle. 

Fantastic Mr Fox

Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox is a story about the clever and sneaky Mr.Fox.

Every night he sneaks from their burrow to one of three farms to snatch livestock to feed his family. Unfortunately for Mr Fox, the three farmers (Boggis, Bunce, and Bean) soon grow sick of their livestock being stolen, and of Mr Fox outsmarting them and avoiding their traps, so set out to kill him.  Settling themselves with guns pointed at the entrance to the burrow, they wait for him to emerge. Trapped and starving, mr fox devises a plan. With a little help from some friends, they burrow right underneath the three farmers and to their farms!

Since the book was release, there was also a stop-motion animated movie made of the film in 2009, staring George Clooney as Mr Fox, Meryl Streep as Mrs Fox, Owen Wilson as Coach Skip, Bill Murray as Clive Badger and Michael Gambon as Bean.

Fantastic Mr Fox is usually depicted as a fox wearing human clothes, so can quite easily be replicated on a budget with some homemade fox ears, a tail and your own clothes. Alternatively, get it ready done with this Fantastic Mr Fox Costume. You could also become Boggis, Bunce or Bean for the day, or choose one of Mr Fox’s friends.


St Patrick's Day

clock Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:38AM

St Patricks Day  

St Patricks day, also known as the Feast of St Patrick is a day celebrated globally on March 17th to commemorate Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

 The story of Saint Patrick

Born in Roman Britain in the 4th century to a wealthy family, St Patricks Father was a deacon and his Grandfather a priest.

At the age of 16, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland, where he was kept as a slave for 6 years.

That is until he claims to have been told by god to flee captivity and run to the coast, where he was able to safely return home.

Upon his return, St Patrick joined the church like his father and grandfather before him, studying to be a priest and later being ordained as bishop.

He eventually returned to Ireland as a missionary in 432, where he played a vital role in converting the Irish to Christianity.

After almost 30 years of evangelism, St Patrick died on 17th March 461 and was buried in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland.


The Shamrock

The shamrock, or clover, is universally used as decoration and seen on fancy dress on St Patricks day. This is because Irish folklore says that St Patrick used the shamrock as one of his teaching methods, to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity (The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost) to the Irish people.

 Celebrating St Patricks Day

Nowadays, St Patricks day is celebrated all over the world with people dressing up as leprechauns, wearing green, or bearing the slogan ‘Kiss me, I’m Irish’.

Monuments all over the world also go green for the day! With landmarks like the Sydney Opera House, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Niagara Falls and the Empire State Building lighting up for the event, Even the White House dyed their fountain green for the day!

Keep an eye out for more from us on how to celebrate St Patricks day, including what to drink, what to wear and the music to listen to!

1920's Fancy Dress

clock Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 09:37AM

The 1920’s, known as the Roaring 20’s or the Jazz age, dawned a whole new age and an upheaval in social acceptability.

With the last dark remnants of the Great War fading away and Jazz coming to England from America, a new generation were letting loose and breaking all conformities as a new breed known as ‘Flappers’ were born.

Throwing out the corsets and bringing up hem lines, flappers were frowned up for their excessive use of makeup, smoking and drinking,and for treating sex in such a casual manner. Some even drove automobiles; quite simply, they were breaking every rule, discarding old social expectations and challenging traditional gender stereotypicilisations.

Entertainment was at a high, with jazz clubs springing up where youths could dance dances like the lindy hop and the Charleston, while entertainers like Charlie Chaplin graced the silver screen.

The twenties also saw rises in a Gang culture, with the likes of Al Capone, Frank Costello and Johnny Torrio at large in America. The Gangster look, with a suit, braces, tie, trilby hat and often a tommy gun, is one that’s often re-created for Fancy Dress.

There have been numerous films and movies depicting life in the 20’s, one of the most notable being The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald which has recently been made into a movie, directed by Baz Luhrman and staring Leonardo DiCaprio. The story is based in America in the twenties, where prohibition was in full force and all inhibitions were out the window.


How to dress as a flapper

The Dress

Moving away from tightly fitted, corseted gowns they had been restrained to before, flapper dresses were straight and loose, fitting to the hips rather than the waist with the hem rising to the knee.


Silk stockings were held up by garters and many girls applied rouge to the knees, to give the boys something to look at should he catch a glimpse as the dress rose while dancing.


Jewelled or feathered headbands became popular among woman, along with elongated cigarette holders, long gloves and strands of pearls which could be looped numerous times.


 High heels were coming into fashion, with heals reaching 2-3 inches high and usually sporting a strap around the ankle.


Flappers hair was primarily cut into a short bob or something like what we’d now call a pixie cut , a first for women and a bold statement.