World book day 2021

Parents should stop complaining about World Book Day

Every year, at the same time, they come – great flocks of them. Squawking, squabbling, screeching. Never mind the first cuckoo call or the sighting of the earliest swallow, there is no more reliable metric in modern Britain for the arrival of spring than parents moaning about their children having to dress up for World Book Day. What started in the mid-nineties as a fairly innocuous celebration of all things children’s lit, has somehow in the quarter century since evolved into an annual festival of epic parental whining: ‘it’s too commercial’; ‘too demanding’; ‘too expensive’; ‘too tacky’; ‘too much’. These are all, I concede, to a degree, reasonable criticisms. Personal