World Book Day

Today is World Book Day, and like thousands of other little girls and boys, Roo got to dress up as a character from a book today.  We thought about it and decided on Matilda, from the Roald Dahl book of the same name.  It suits little Roo well, she always has her nose in a book, she’s sensitive, inquisitive and very, very bright.  No mad telekinesis skills yet though.  

She does, however, have nicer parents than Matilda, and as far as I know, there is no chokey to be thrown into at school.

World Book Day Matilda

 That copy of Matilda is well loved; I used to read that very book when I was a child, and remember loving it.  But reading it now gives me a completely different perspective of the story.  What was a story about a little girl who had the magical ability to move things with her eyes, and used it to get one over on her horrible family and tyrannical head teacher has become a somewhat darker tale, but one that we still love, nevertheless.

It’s funny how that often happens with children’s books, certainly a lot of Roald Dahl’s novels have fairly sinister undertones, but also books like The Secret Garden (spoilt, bratty child, shipped halfway across the world after the death of her parents, to a place where no one cares about her existence, and ends up practicing voodoo on the Yorkshire moors whilst her invalid cousin slowly falls in love with her) and The Velveteen Rabbit (a full on tear jerker about a toy rabbit who spends most of his life craving the acknowledgement of his thoroughly spoilt owner, only to be saved from certain death at the very last minute by a fairy who turns him into a real bunny after scarlet fever condemns everything to the bonfire). See also, ANYTHING by Maurice Sendak, with the exception of Where the Wild Things Are, which is fabulous.  And don’t even get me started on fairytales. So dark, so brilliant. 

We love literature, and it’s ability to be different things to different people.  Books are amazing, and reading is something I just don’t do enough of, but thankfully, Roo does.  I hope she always loves reading the way she does now. 


Are you celebrating World Book Day?  Have your children dressed up?  Reviewed a book and want to share it? Link your posts up here:

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  1. I still think of childhood books as I did back then. We love Matilda and I guess as I’m reading it my boy I go along with his reactions. He seems to love reading so I hope that continues as he gets older.

  2. I do this so often, reflect on a book from my childhood and think differently, of the undertones etc. Quite fascinating really!

    Harry’s nursery don’t do anything. They gave us a chance to go through their learning diaries. And to read a book with them in class but I didn’t have time as I am doing a course all about helping your child with reading; quite fascinating really!

  3. My children both love the books that I’ve given them from my childhood. I’ve not read Matilda for years though, maybe we should re-visit it soon! Thank you!

  4. My all time favourite book is Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl – even now I love it. I’ve got a very old, well worn hardback copy of it with lovely illustrations (not Quetin Blake!) and I agree, a lot of his books have these dark undertones that you just don’t notice as a kid!

  5. Roo looks extremely cute! :) I love that book too and the movie, little Matilda is just adorable in that movie. WOW that reminds me of when I was a little girl… You have inspired me to buy books that I used to read as a child and read them to my little ones. I loved Roald Dahl books, Enid Blyton and Disney – Alice in Wonderland was a great book to read when I was little.

    Thanks for hosting the linky – great idea!

    1. I was a BIG Enid Blyton fan when I was a kid. I used to read the Mallory Towers books again and again and wish fervently for midnight feasts, a friend like Darrell Rivers, and for the phrase “wizard” to become popular again.

  6. Fantastic post!! I love how stories mean different things to different people. And having studied German and Russian at uni I have read some of the original Grimm Brothers and also the Russian ones like Baba Yaga and man are they scary (English translations often miss a fair bit out!) But yet they are so important to us as we grow up.

    Have you ever read anything by Elizabeth Goudge? Most of her books are out of print these days but she is an amazing story-teller. And Astrid Lindgren (author of Pipp Longstocking) wrote an amazing book called The Brothers Lionheart – read the reviews on amazon and you’ll understand why I love it so much and cannot wait for Oscar to be old enough to read it!!

  7. Such a lovely post and your daughter looks so excited, bless her! We have a pre-schooler and didn’t know about the dressing up but she loves books. She was read to really early on and I think that’s helped a lot with her vocabulary too :)

  8. I’ve just bought my middle children some books that I loved as a child. It will be interesting to re-read them and see if I still get the same meaning from them now that I’m old and grey!

  9. Aw she looks so sweet and Matilda is a great book. I was really sad that my two didn’t get to dress up today – for some reason their school wasn’t doing it which is a shame. I love World Book Day though, such a great thing to get children interested in!

  10. I lloved Matilda and your little girl looks so sweet dressed as her! I recently purchased a box set of Roald Dahl books for my brother because he loves them…. He is 21. Can’t wait until my little girl is old enough to steal her uncles books :)

  11. Aw she looks gorgeous! My daughter went as Matilda a few years ago, it’s always been one of our favourites. Have you seen the muscial? It’s amazing! Your daughter (and you) would love it :)

  12. She looks wonderful! I’ve been enjoying a few Roald Dahl books with my son and we have Matilda coming up very soon, I’m looking forward to sharing it with him!

  13. I loved all the Roald Dahl books when I was younger and Kaycee has developed the same love :) She read The Twits in one sitting the other day and it must have been the 2nd or 3rd time she’s read it!

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