So, yesterday was World Book Day, or should it be called world dressing up day? The majority of costumes I saw at our local school were for film, rather than book characters. The children had fun dressing up, but I wondered if the children were inspired to read?
In principle, I think that World Book Day (WBD) is a great idea because anything that encourages children to read is really, really worth while. It just feels to me that WBD has lost the plot (did you enjoy that literary analogy?) in the way that it is included in school life.
How does dressing a child up as a character from a
filmbook help them to read more?
It would be great if everyone brought a copy of their book with them to show who they were dressing up as although I’m not sure how that would work out for the child who was sent dressed as Christian Grey? My daughters year 1 class spent some time drawing a picture of themselves in the setting in their book which is good, but it is still not about reading.
When dressing up as character, should you go with the book or the film/TV version?
My daughter originally wanted to go as Dorothy from the wizard of Oz, but did you know that in the book that she wears silver and not ruby slippers? My daughter couldn’t face being Dorothy without Ruby slippers so we had to come up with an alternative. What colour is Paddington Bear’s hat? In the new film it is red, but in the book it is a dirty black hat (thankfully we had a black hat and another daughter who isn’t so fussy).
WBD can be stressful for parents.
A friend of mine shared this on Facebook yesterday:
A well off parent will buy a costume and a creative parent will make a costume but normal parents just get stressed out by the whole thing and people who can’t afford it end up paying out money to buy costumes.
I heard on the radio of one school where each pupil had to bring something that gave a clue as to who their character was. This seem to me to be a much better idea and is something that actually generates discussion about the books themselves. I’m still not sure how that would work for the child that was sent as Christian Grey!
I’ve had a bit of a rant about what I think is wrong with WBD, but are churches the same?
Everyday should be World Bible Day for us. We say we are about the Bible but we really are we celebrating and focusing on other things?
Are we imagining and following a version of God who we have created in our minds (you know, the nice one who is like Father Christmas) rather than the God who we encounter in the Bible?
Do we spend our time talking about people who follow God rather than exploring what God is saying to us through the Bible? Churches can appear more focused on management techniques or psychological tests (is Myers Briggs really the missing 5th gospel?) than they are than the wisdom that the Bible provides.
Will we read and talk about the Bible rather than talking about what we think that the Bible says. The life of Jesus is a good example of this and you can read more about this here.
If we say that we are people of the Bible then let’s live that way! As we read the Bible more, may God inspire us as he reveals who he is and also who we can be as we follow and trust in him.