What makes a children’s book timeless? We could say it’s literature that captures an aspect(s) of childhood perfectly, but it’s more than that. These are the sorts of books that introduce us to a world of magic, wonder and the world of reading. Oh, and the fact they’re great reading, even as an adult, and often much better than many pieces of more “serious” fiction.
Here are some of us here at Escapade’s favourite children’s books, as well as some ideas for book character costumes …
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Perhaps one of the most well-loved of Roald Dahl’s stories, and it’s not hard to see why. The book has everything, from a drink that causes flatulence and gives one the ability to fly (frobscottle) and man-eating giants through to scenes with the Queen at Buckingham Palace and a guy who runs around London town distributing good dreams to children (the eponymous BFG). Oh, and the BFG also makes a cameo appearance in Danny, Champion of the World.
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Dickens’s second novel is arguably his most well-known one, and maybe one of the most powerful. Oliver Twist is grim, rough, gritty and uncompromising in its portrayal of Victorian England. Oppressive workhouses, dangerous criminals and lives of poverty and neglect are abound in this novel about the life of a street child.
Our Victorian Poor Boy is an excellent choice for a costume that portrays this novel, which makes for an excellent World Book Day costume for boys.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrollildrens-costumes-sale/children-fantasy-costumes/alice-costume-chs-4-6.asp
Where Dickens was writing social realism and criticism, Lewis Carroll was doing the opposite. In fact, it could be argued that Lewis Carroll was writing social surrealism. However, just because it has fantastical characters like the Red Queen, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit and Tweedledum & Tweedledee, it doesn’t mean Carroll’s book is any less critical of Victorian society.
In fact, it could be said that Lewis Carroll’s book is a satire of Victorian society, with all of its topsy-turvy logic and insanity poking fun at the strange laws, social conventions and hypocrisy of the time. Still one of the best and most influential books ever written by an Englishman, and definitely one of the most fun.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Let’s face it: Roald Dahl has written most of the best children’s stories of all time. Sure, he wrote “adult” fiction, too, but none of it was anywhere near as readable and brilliant as his children’s novels.
Alongside the aforementioned The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is many readers’ favourites. However, Roald Dahl has also written Matilda, The Twits, George’s Marvellous Medicine, The Witches and James and the Giant Peach, so Dahl fans will be hard-pressed to find a definitive favourite.
But what makes Charlie and the Chocolate Factory so great? Yes, it’s got Willy Wonka, Oompa-Loompas and selfish children (and their parents) getting their comeuppance; but we think it’s because its main subject is something that’s close to every child’s heart: chocolate.
Not so much a book figure per se, but a massive part of English folklore, alongside mention in several ballads from the late-medieval period. Robin Hood is an anti-clerical archer who had a special regard for women, protected the lower classes and had a somewhat anti-authoritarian stance, what with his battles against the Sheriff of Nottingham and King John. He is the original anti-establishment hero, and one that is regaled in tales the world over. Also makes for a very simple and easy World Book Day costume.
Have a favourite book of your own? Then why not come in store or browse around on our website to find it? We’re sure you’ll find the costume and/or accessories you’re looking for here at Escapade Fancy Dress.