When is World Book Day 2023? Suggested books and costume ideas

World Book Day 2023 seeks to encourage the love of books (Handout)

World Book Day is an initiative to promote the importance of reading for young children.

The annual event was created by Unesco on April 23, 1995.

It is a global movement celebrating the world of books and reading, celebrated in over 100 countries.

World Book Day 2023 falls on March 2 and schoolchildren are encouraged to go to school dressed as their favorite character while bringing the accompanying book.

Often in schools on the day each child will promote their chosen book, discussing the story and why they chose that character, and sometimes there is a competition for the most authentic costume.

The mission of World Book Day is to promote literacy and reading for pleasure and to ensure that every child in the world has their own book.

The power of reading

Reading is one of the most effective ways to harness the power of language.

Establishing the habit of reading in children, especially at a young age, helps to enhance their imagination and dramatically improves brain development.

Whether a child reads for pleasure was also seen as one of the main predictors of a child’s future success, even more so than their marital status, parents’ income or education.

The first World Book Day in the UK and Ireland took place in 1997 and continues to encourage young people to discover the joy of reading.

List of £1 books for World Book Day

The list of books published for World Book Day in the UK and Ireland for £1 for 2023 includes:

  • Life-size Creepy Crawlies, by Sophy Henn (Red Shed, Farshore)

  • Billy’s Bravery, by Tom Percival (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

  • You choose your adventure, by Pippa Goodhart, illustrated by Nick Sharratt (Puffin)

  • Dave Pigeon: Bookshop Mayhem, by Swapna Haddow, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey (Faber)

  • Marvel Spider-Man The Amazing Pocket Guide, by Catherine Saunders (DK)

  • The Boy with Wings: Attack of the Rampaging Robot, by Lenny Henry, illustrated by Keenon Ferrell (Macmillan Children’s Books)

  • A Dragon Realm Adventure, by Katie Tsang and Kevin Tsang (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)

  • The Strangeworlds Travel Agency: Adventure in the Floating Mountains, by LD Lapinski (Hachette Children’s Group)

  • Kay’s Brilliant Brains, by Adam Kay, illustrated by Henry Paker (Puffin)

  • Boot It!, by AM Dassu, illustrated by Zainab Faidhi (Old Barn Books)

  • Being an ally: honest talk about showing up, screwing up and trying again, by Shakirah Bourne and Dana Alison Levy (DK)

  • Hazel Tree Farm: One Stormy Night, by Alma Jordan, illustrated by Margaret Suggs (O’Brien Press) (Irish only)

  • Rita agus an Dragún, by Máire Zepf, illustrated by Mr Ando (An tSnáthaid Mhór) (only in Ireland)

  • Cyw, by Anni LlÅ n (Y Lolfa) (Wales only)

Costume Ideas for World Book Day

The beauty of dressing up as a character for World Book Day means the options are endless, with many choosing to make their own DIY costumes.

Kids can opt for a classic character, like the Mad Hatter from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, or the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia.

Alternatively, children could choose a more modern character, such as Gangsta Granny or Harry Potter. Some may even become their favorite movie or anime character.

World Book Day costumes for children – in pictures

Scroll to see our favorite children's costumes for World Book Day...:

Scroll to see our favorite children’s costumes for World Book Day…:

Alice in Wonderland:

Alice in Wonderland:

Hungry Caterpillar:

Hungry Caterpillar:



Harry Potter:

Harry Potter:

Willy Wonka:

Willy Wonka:

Red Riding Hood:

Red Riding Hood:



Fantastic Mr. Fox:

Fantastic Mr. Fox:

Classic Character Book Ideas

  • Paddington

  • Mad hatter

  • Oompa Loompa

  • snow White

  • Alice in Wonderland

Modern Character Book Ideas

  • miss root

  • supertayto

  • Matilda

  • Harry Potter

  • disney princess

Costumes for some characters can be purchased online or at costume stores. Or kids and parents can get creative and create their own costumes from scratch, using items found around the house or clothing from charity shops.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *