Every year I see it on Facebook. Photos of people’s kids dressed up for Book Week. Maybe they’re Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat In The Hat, or Madeline, or the Gruffalo. Great stuff. Totally adorable.
But no one I know posts photos of their kids dressed as Elsa from Frozen or Spiderman or a Pokemon or a Minecraft character. Why? Perhaps because we are deeply ashamed of ourselves and feel like failures as parents.
Book Week is when book snobbery comes into play. There are Books, with a capital B, and then there are… well, lame excuses for books. Movie tie-ins. Trash written purely to cash in on the insane popularity of a character.
As one of my friends on Facebook subtly hinted, “Book Week characters should be from BOOKS!!!! A movie is not a BOOK!!! BOOK BOOK BOOK!”
Listen: Dear parents, this is everything teachers want you to know. (Post continues after audio.)
I’ve felt guilted into dressing my kids up as characters from books before. I dressed one kid as Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz, with a blue dress, pigtails, a toy Toto and silver shoes, for added authenticity. I dressed another as Geronimo Stilton, donating my own clothes (bizarrely, I discovered I have a similar fashion sense to the mouse newspaper editor).
But this year, my son is going as Steve from Minecraft and my daughter is going as Pikachu. Yep, the Pokemon.
My kids have read loads of Books. They’ve binged on Beatrix Potter, they’ve ROFLed over Roald Dahl, they’ve practically become honorary members of the Babysitters’ Club.
Right now, they’re obsessed with Minecraft and Pokemon. And, because their screentime is limited, when I prise their fingers off the keyboard, they often go away and read Minecraft and Pokemon books.
Do you know how many Minecraft books there are? Currently, my son has 11 Minecraft books on loan from the local library, both fiction and non-fiction. They are full of useful words like “biome” and “obsidian” and “glistering” and “zombie pigmen”.