Fancy dress themed days, you either love ’em or hate ’em, but whatever you think when you’re a parent it’s just gotta be done. Fear of one day, sitting in a psychologist’s room listening to my adult children confess that all their troubles began the day they turned up at school in uniform when everyone else gleefully trotted through the classroom door dressed in everything from The Tiger Who Came To Tea through to the Gruffalo. I bite the bullet and join the masses. World Book Day in the past for us has usually meant something cobbled together to vaguely resemble a character of some sort. I’ll openly admit I failed big time once with a very badly paper mache helmet and shield made of cereal boxes.
Despite an A Level in Art and Design, creativity escaped me that day and I still shudder at how truly terrible they were when I see the photos on my Mac. I can still sense the shame as other children arrived in fabulous home or shop bought outfits and vowed from that moment on, I would buy any future outfits knowing I could sell or pass them on. Which is exactly why we headed down to our nearest Asda in Newton Abbot at the weekend in search of something my 3-year-old could wear to preschool for this year’s World Book Day.
I’d checked out their website and found the perfect outfit; The Hungry Caterpillar. My boy adores this book and it fitted along with the preschool bug them perfectly. Parking up, we headed through the main doors and immediately found a selection of fabulous book themed characters. Everything from David Walliams to Roald Dahl, only this selection was aimed at older school children. (not bad priced though at around £15 an outfit which, by slightly upping the sizes, you could swap with friends the following year to save a little cash.)
So off we went in search of a Hungry Caterpillar outfit.
Younger children’s outfits were placed at the end of each aisle and my boy was soon weighing up whether to go as Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Iron Man, Captain America, a Dragon or Chase from Paw Patrol. With him not really having a grasp of what World Book Day meant, to him, it simply meant going to preschool in dressing up clothes. Try as I might sway him towards going as a Dragon as I thought it fitted in rather well with Julia Donaldson’s Room on The Broom, it was clear had his heart set on something much more familiar. With a £50 Asda challenge to spend on World Book Day gear, he finally narrowed it down to Chase, Captain America and Iron Man, priced at £15, £15 and £16 consecutively. For the added features and quality I’d happily give all the outfits a 5 out of 5. They’ve already been through the mill coming on and off various times and still looking good.
Now, this was where I got into the thinking that actually, he was on to something. We read Paw Patrol books at home all the time, and the superheroes, as someone kindly pointed out on my Instagram, are also comic book characters. But above all, I knew we’d get much more longevity out of dressing up clothes which he’d chosen and LOVED.
They all came with headwear of some sort, the only downside was the plastic mask from Iron Man being uncomfortable for him and part of the light from the chest piece was damaged sadly, so we’ll have to return that one. But I can categorically say it has been money well spent as they’ve been worn on a rotation basis from the moment we got into the Asda car park.
I never did find that Hungry Caterpillar outfit mind, I suspect we were a little late to the party with it being less than a week to this year’s World Book Day. Hey ho, I doubt the thrill of dressing as a caterpillar would’ve lasted as long as the power of saving the day as an incredibly cute pup or muscle clad action hero anyway.
This is a collaborative post with Asda.