When is World Book Day 2024? Character costume ideas

World Book Day is celebrating its 29th birthday in 2024 and once more will feature events in schools to promote the importance of reading for children.

Unesco created the annual event on April 23, 1995. It has become a worldwide movement celebrating books and reading and is now celebrated in more than 100 countries.

One of the biggest indicators of a child’s future success is whether they read for pleasure, according to some experts. They say this matters more than family circumstances, parents’ income, or educational background.

The first World Book Day in the UK and Ireland took place in 1997. It has continued to help encourage young people to discover the pleasure of reading.

Children dressed as their favourite book characters inside a pod on the lastminute.com London Eye in Westminster for World Book Day 2023 (PA)
Children dressed as their favourite book characters inside a pod on the lastminute.com London Eye in Westminster for World Book Day 2023 (PA)

When is World Book Day 2024?

World Book Day 2024 falls on March 7. Schoolchildren are encouraged to go to school dressed as their favourite character while bringing along the accompanying book.

In schools that celebrate World Book Day, children will promote their favourite books, discuss the story, and explain why they chose that character. Some schools host a competition for the most authentic costume.

World Book Day promotes literacy and reading for pleasure and aims to ensure every child worldwide has a book of their own.

List of £1 books for World Book Day 2024

The list of books released for World Book Day in the UK and Ireland for £1 for 2024 includes:

Beginning Category

- Greg the Sausage Roll: Lunchbox Superhero by Mark and Roxanne Hoyle (aka Ladbaby); illustrated by Gareth Conway (Puffin)

- Elmer and the Patchwork Story by David McKee (Andersen Press)

- Charlie McGrew and the Horse That He Drew by Rob Biddulph (HarperCollins Children's Books).

Early Category

- InvestiGators: High-Rise Hijinks by John Patrick Green, with Christopher Hastings and Pat Lewis (Macmillan Children's Books)

- Marv and the Ultimate Superpower by Alex Falase-Koya; illustrated by Paula Bowles (Oxford University Press)

- Dinosaur Club: On the Trail of a T. rex by Rex Stone (Jane Clarke); illustrated by Louise Forshaw (DK).

Fluent Category

- The Amazing Edie Eckhart: The Friend Mission by Rosie Jones, illus Natalie Smillie (Hachette Children's Group)

- Onyeka and the Secret Superhero by Tọlá Okogwu (Simon & Schuster)

- Loki: Tales of a Bad God by Louie Stowell (Walker)

- Can You Get Jellyfish in Space? by Dr Sheila Kanani, illus Liz Kay (Puffin).

Independent Category

- Creepy Creations by Jennifer Killick (Farshore)

- The Doomsday Date by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (Usborne)

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 opting to make DIY costumes.

Children may opt to go as a classic character, such as the Mad Hatter from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia.

Alternatively, they could choose a more modern character, including Gangsta Granny or Harry Potter. Some may even dress up as their favourite film or anime character.

Classic character book ideas

  • Paddington

  • Mad Hatter

  • Oompa Loompa

  • Snow White

  • Alice in Wonderland

  • The Gruffalo

  • Peter Pan

Modern character book ideas

  • Miss Root

  • Supertato

  • Matilda

  • Harry Potter

  • Disney princess

  • Captain Underpants

  • Gangsta Granny

Outfits of certain characters can be bought online or at costume shops. Alternatively, children and parents can get creative and make their costumes from household items or clothes from charity shops.