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Posted by Kate, March 1, 2012

World Book Day – what character would you be?

It’s World Book Day, and we hope you’re celebrating. Many of us – including me – sent our children to school disguised as fictional characters. Here are some Nosy Crow offspring, one dressed up as Princess Emily from The Rescue Princesses: The Secret Promise by Paula Harrison, and one dressed up as Winnie The Witch.

Children of designers always have an advantage. Here’s a Nosy Crow designer’s child taking a less book-specific approach to dressing up for WBD:

At Nosy Crow, we’re celebrating World Book Day by encouraging digital reading: we’ve reduced the price of all three of our award-winning/highly-praised apps to $0.99/£0.69 for today… so, if you’re interested, do hurry up and buy, because time’s running out.

There’s been a nice little twitter hashtag started by @worldbookdayUK #fictionalforaday and it prompted me to ask some of the Nosy Crows who’d they’d like to be, with particular (but not absolutely exclusive – see surprising Thomas Hardy character below) reference to children’s books.

Kate B said: “When I was little I wanted to be any one of the Famous Five or Secret Seven and used to moan all the time about the lack of adventures in my Dorset childhood. But now I would like to be Lola from Charlie & Lola as she has zero responsibilities and such a cool big brother (although I have that too). I’d also quite like to be the little girl in The Tiger Who Came to Tea, because, well, how great would that be? And that retro kitchen is something else.”

Camilla said: “I’d quite like to be a Wild Thing right now – I could do with having a bit of a wild rumpus to relieve the pre-Bologna tension!”

Adrian said: “I’d like to be Badger in the Wind in the Willows, because he’s strong and kind and fearless – though I’ve also always had a sneaking wish to be Mr Toad. Alternatively Jude the Obscure.” On being questioned as to why he’d want to be someone whose child – spoiler alert – hanged himself and all his siblings, he said, “Well, he did lead an unhappy life, but he was a stonemason, and he did want to better himself.” Hmm.

Tom said, sadly, “I always wanted to be Ratty but knew that, in truth, I was far more like Mole.” But he also said, “I would like to be Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web, because it would be nice to have someone as brilliant as Charlotte looking out for me.” And who could argue with that?

Kirsty said, “I’d choose Winnie the Witch, because she has a cool house and an enviably relaxed approach to leg-shaving.”

Victoria said, “Anne of Green Gables for me because she was beautiful and kind and seemed to have the most incredible adventures. It is a dream of mine to visit her house and pretend to be Anne for a day!”

Kristina said, “I think Pippi Longstocking, mainly because she lived in a house with a monkey and a horse, but also because nothing seemed to worry her: it was always just another adventure.”

Giselle said: “I was absolutely obsessed with Alan Aldridge’s ‘The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast’. I took every opportunity I could to copy pictures of all his wonderful characters. I would have loved to have been invited to the ball myself! Although, sadly my invitation got lost in the post!”

Dom said, “Well, it’s for a night, rather than a day, but when I was young I wanted to be Mr Bear from Jill Murphy’s Peace At Last – because walking about, looking for a place to sleep, he clearly wasn’t bothered about the dark… whereas I was very scared of it.” He sighed. “I was a delicate little flower…”

Will said, “I think I’d be Timbertwig from Marshall Cavendish’s Story Teller series. He has a pet spider, Abigail, who lives in his hat and she can perform magic very badly – the basis of all their adventures?”

Milena, who works on our apps PR in the USA, said, “Growing up, I was obsessed with A Wrinkle in Time so it would have to be Meg Murry. I loved reading about an awkward, insecure girl who takes on evil forces through time and space to rescue her family. She kicks some serious butt and finds her voice in the process. I admit it, I’m a dork!”

Leen said, “When I was a child I was obsessed with the Gnomes books by Dutch illustrator Rien Poortvliet (Leen is from Belgium). They contained incredibly intricate drawings of how the gnomes lived in the forest, how they built their houses, what was on the breakfast table in a typical gnome household, and details of the edible plants and berries that they harvested for food and to make into things to sustain their lifestyle. I was fascinated by the idea of a whole world beneath our world, and was delighted that somebody had taken the trouble to set this all down in a book with pretty, colourful illustrations and enough pseudo-scientific ethnographical detail to satisfy all of a pesky 8-year old’s incessant questions. Consequently, I felt I got a great insight in what it would be like to live as a gnome and, on balance, decided that I wouldn’t mind joining their community. Subsequent hunts through wood pile, garden shed and garage revealed no hidden entrances to gnome residences of any kind, however (and the book specified the different types of hiding them, so I did have a good look!).” I asked her who she’d choose to be specifically and she said, “Then I’ll be Lisa, the wife of David the Gnome. Gnomes weren’t very feminist and the ladies didn’t go out much, but there was a lot of good cooking around.”. I said that I felt that she shouldn’t feel she had to be a girl (though I was interested that almost everyone chose characters who were the same sex as them), particularly as it was only for a day, and she said that, in that case, she’d be David the Gnome himself, as “he gets all the good hare-riding and goose-back-flying.”

Joanne Owen, who’s doing some tip-top freelance marketing work for us, said, “I variously wished I was Little Red Riding Hood/Rose Red/Briar Rose/Rapunzel – can’t beat the scary settings, danger and drama of fairy tales. Or, as Leen fancied joining the Gnomes community, I wished I could have stepped into the Moomins’ magical world. Or Pippi Longstocking – brave, bright, eccentric and strong, and a teller of strange and funny stories. Or Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz because she had such an amazing adventure, what with all that fighting of witches and flying monkeys, making and helping new friends and, of course, the sparkly red shoes! Or, finally, one of the girls from The Faraway Tree so I could visit The Roundabout Land and make friends with Moonface!”

As for me… well, it’s getting late, and it’s been a long and busy day (which is why I am only posting now), so I think I shall choose The Sleeping Beauty, at least for now.

So… who would you want to be for a day?

PS I think I might want to be Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. She takes risks. She’s not afraid to talk back. She’s never afraid or fazed even when very strange things happen to her.