// Elmer Costume // Willy Wonka Costume // The Gruffalo Costume //

Reading with my children wasn't always so straight forward for me. I remember being pregnant and having these wonderful visions of being all snuggled up reading to my little ones, with them hanging off my every word, excited to see what the next page brought. I mean, I have a degree in Acting (however dusty!), surely I was born for this reading to children gig?

Eh not quite, because the reality was very, very different. As a toddler Caleb despised me reading to him. I couldn't hold or be anywhere near the book for a start, he had to hold it, and before I could so much as read the first couple of words on the page he would hurl the book in the air and off he would trot. I would be left in a sea of hurled books feeling frustrated, sad, and to be honest, a little mad. Reading should be an enjoyable activity why was he making it such a negative one??

So I tried, and I tried, until it became a stressful and unhappy task for both of us. Was I failing him in some way because he didn't like me to read to him, and worse still, what damaging effects would this have on him?? Classic first time parent fear and guilt, always wanting to do everything perfectly for our children.

It turns out he was just a being toddler, and I happened to have a toddler who liked to be in full control of ANY activity he chose to do, so why would reading a story be any different?! I needed to approach reading in a way were he felt he had full control, so I put aside the actual act of reading a story to him for a time, and let him discover books on his terms. Instead of me reading the book to him I would let him turn the pages whilst I asked him questions about the images he was seeing. We'd also count what he could see on the pages too, and when for the first time he didn't hurl the book, I knew I was on to something. It was my light bulb moment and this was the beginning of Caleb's love for books. 

I now have a boy who adores reading books and his little brother has followed suit. It's a joy to watch them enjoy all the different stories, and for them to choose their favourites. Something they're both really excited about is World Book day, on 1st March, as they'll get to dress up as their favourite story characters for school and nursery.

I think World Book Day, is such a clever initiative to get children actively talking about books and wanting to read more, particularly if they're a reluctant reader too. It also prompts us as parents to make sure we do take the time for that precious bed time story.

We've all been there when we're that exhausted from a full days work and parenting, that the idea of skipping bedtime story is all too appealing. To end the day on a lovely positive note such as reading a book together is so important for a child but also for us, I think. They say reading to our children promotes a good connection and a sense of well being, I find this to be absolutely true, because if Caleb is worried or concerned about anything he'll choose to talk about it after story time. It's clearly when he feels his safest and most connected with Michael and I.

Last year for World Book Day, Caleb dressed up as, Wally from, Where's Wally?, and to his delight they actually played, Where's Wally?, with Caleb hiding throughout the nursery! So you can imagine the excitement levels for World Book Day in our house. This year, as part of Sainsbury's support for National Literacy Trust pledge the supermarket is encouraging parents and children to get reading this World Book Day. You can find the most awesome range of costumes that you can buy online and in store now.

Both the boys have been having fun dressing as their favourite characters in preparation for World Book Day...

// The Gruffalo Costume //

A long standing favourite book with Archie, is the well-known and loved, The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson. Archie thinks he's awfully scary in this costume and I got told off when I laughed at how cute he looks! Apparently, Gruffalo's aren't cute ;). 

// Harry Potter Costume //

Meanwhile, Caleb is starting to gravitate towards slightly older books like, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the first Harry Potter novel. We are currently doing a chapter a night with, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and he is loving it. The boy I thought I would never get to snuggle down and read a book with ;).

// Willy Wonka Costume //

If you have a little one who will love dressing up for World Book Day, or love dressing up in general, be sure to check out Sainsbury's. Their costumes are excellent quality and will last long after World Book Day. Dressing up as their favourite characters really puts the fun into reading, and reading should be fun!

The boys costumes can all found below:

// The Gruffalo // Harry Potter // Willy Wonka // Elmer //

You can find my shirt here, and my jeans here.

*This post was in proud collaboration with Sainburys, as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.


  1. I hope this works my love, second time I’ve tried. Such a lovely post and all these pictures are adorable!! Totally ordered the gruffalo for Ollie!! Amazing costume!! Also love that you’ve shared this about Caleb, Ollie totally went through that stage too, but I too have a real bookworm now, and I love it! Brilliant post honey xxx

  2. These outfits are everything!!! I loved seeing the photo of you all dressed up on Instagram - I absolutely will remember Sainsbury’s for next year for Oscar! Hoping they do the willy winks costume again!! And I love that last year Caleb got to really re-enact Where’s Wally!! Amazing xx