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Teacher’s guide to World Book Day costumes Comments Off on Teacher’s guide to World Book Day costumes

Posted on February 10, 2014 by admin

Reading a book at the beach

During these chilly wintery months, there’s no better time to cosy up with a great book and revisit your favourite characters. The 6th March is World Book Day and to celebrate our love of literature, schools across the globe will be encouraging kids and teachers alike to spend the day as their favourite character.

If you’re a teacher struggling for ideas for this year’s costume, then let Fancy Dress Ball be your source of inspiration. We’ve got loads of clever character ideas to help you put together a winning costume for this year’s WBD.

Fantastic Mr Fox

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Roald Dahl was famous for creating dynamic and imaginative characters. Check out these excellent Fantastic Mr Fox costumes which use Wes Anderson’s characters from the big screen adaptation for inspiration.

Oompa Loompa

Another Roald Dahl inspired costume are the Oomap Loompa’s from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Once you’ve got your costume sorted, check out this excellent video tutorial from Pinkstylist who show’s you just how to get that orange Oompa Loompa make-up just right!

Mary Poppins

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Just a spoonful of sugar and a dash of creativity and you can transform yourself into PL Travers’ beloved magical nanny. This costume is a simple one to throw together, and effectively finished with the right make-up and hair. Check out this brilliant video tutorial from JoeyBBugg, to help you finish your look.

Pippi Longstocking

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Created by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking is one fictional character who never goes out of style on World Book Day. The trickiest part of the Longstocking look is achieving those gravity-defying pigtails. One suggested method is to use wire in your braids to hold them upright.

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If you’re worried about having headache-inducing pigtails during a full day of teaching, then why not consider these stunning fishtail plaits instead?

Elizabeth Bennet

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If you’re going for a more classic character, then Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet is a simple and timeless look that can easily be achieved. Finish this look with a stunning hairstyle of loose curls.

Got some great ideas for your character costume this World Book Day? Why not share them over on our Facebook page!

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Top 5 literary zombie adventures! Comments Off on Top 5 literary zombie adventures!

Posted on August 09, 2013 by admin


Zombie movies and computer games have made somewhat of a comeback in recent times, with cinemas filled with tense action-thrillers (and the odd zom-rom-com…), while video games take the genre from gory comedy to intense emotional journeys.

If you’re fancying a break from these forms of visual entertainment, perhaps a literary zombie adventure would be the perfect relief. The tension is amped up, the descriptions are wild and varied.

Some of these literary masterpieces have inspired some of the best-loved TV shows and films to have hit our screens, while others have gained fame in their own right. Let’s take a look at five of the best to fill your bookshelf with!

The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman


This is the comic book series that inspired the eternally popular TV show of the same name, which sees Robert Kirkman take the story from the page to the screen. If you thought the show was intense, you may be shocked by the contents of the books…

Following Rick Grimes as he awakens from a coma in hospital, he must travel through the zombie apocalypse to reunite with his wife, Lori, and son Carl. Along his journey, he meets a variety of companions, as well as some who wish him and his team dead.

The series has been active since October 2003 and shows no sign of slowing down. The content of the books is incredibly graphic and not recommended for those of a delicate constitution. If you like the show, however, you’ll love seeing your favourite character in different situations and seeing how their personalities and decisions differ from the show.

World War Z by Max Brooks


You guessed it; the recent Brad Pitt movie of the same name took inspiration from this book by one of the highest praised zombie writers Max Brooks. While the movie may have been called the same as the book, the contents of the novel differ greatly from those on screen.

Brooks also wrote The Zombie Survival Guide which has world-wide fame for its heady combination of humour and sincerity.

World War Z provides accounts of various characters that have lived through the zombie apocalypse and ‘Zombie War’, which lasted for ten years. The book has some of the much-loved humour Brooks is famous for, as well as interesting sociological takes on current society as a whole.

With themes of religion, politics and the environment, even those who aren’t looking for a zombie-yarn will find this novel thought-provoking as Brooks combines political agenda with a zombie uprising.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Published in 1954, I Am Legend is credited as one of the main influences on zombie and apocalypse fiction pop culture today and was one of the first to deal with the genre in such a graphic tone. The novel, which famously influenced the film of the same name starring Will Smith in 2007, inspired the famous 1968 film Night of the Living Dead.

The dead in the novel have a heavy resemblance to the modern vampire, but are credited as an alternative form of zombie by modern academics. The narrative follows Robert Neville as he attempts to create an immunisation for a post-war society, as he is immune to the disease himself. With a mixture of horrific flash backs and intense loneliness, our hero takes the reader on an anxious and fevered journey.

It’s a brilliantly written and imagined piece of work that has been cited by many of the greatest film makers and authors as an influence. Stephen King has praised the book highly, while George Romero has shown a great love of the work. Meanwhile, UK filmmaker Danny Boyle has also shown his influence from the book.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith


Combining Jane Austen’s classic and beloved text with zombies – what a mix! Using an idea by Editor Jason Rekulak of combining classic novels with “popular fanboy characters like ninjas, pirates, zombies and monkeys”, co-author Seth Grahame-Smith compiled this highly successful pop-culture novel, which will shortly become a feature film starring Lily Collins.

Heroine Elizabeth Bennet resides during a time when zombies are simply considered a deadly nuisance. Women must know how to fight alongside men, but still remain lady-like and delicate. All your favourite characters such as Mister Darcy, Mister Bingley, Elizabeth’s sister Jane and the unforgettable Lady Catherine remain in the book, but with a brilliant ninja twist.

The novel is, of course, humorous and entertaining, but it has also been praised for reigniting an interest in Austen’s work and critics have been pleased with the respect and attention to detail that has been paid to Austen’s signature language style.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy


While it is not a zombie novel per se, The Road has been cited as a huge influence upon the post-apocalyptic genre as a whole and was the main inspiration for PlayStation 3 game The Last of Us.

Harrowing, difficult and emotional, the novel follows the characters of ‘The Father’ and ‘The Son’ (also known as ‘the man’ and ‘the boy’). Attempting to search for redemption in a desolate earth, the pair must negotiate around cannibals and thieves who will stop at nothing to survive.

The novel has won numerous awards, including the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. As well as subverting the zombie genre, McCarthy has been credited as one of the most important environmental authors and a huge influence over political discussion in regards to humanity and the environment.


1: Wiki Commons

2: miss_millions

3: Rodrigo Paoletti

4: grongar

5: Wiki Commons

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