Book Week Mayhem


So, as if you didn’t know its Book Week. I could was lyrical about how this event is a wonderful way for the young and the young at heart to celebrate the magic of reading. But this is Mumabulous. I’m going to blog about how for most parents Book Week is a pain in the derriere.

I’m sure you can relate to the following scenario – You are flat out juggling your high powered career (meaning two menial part time jobs) with family and you’re ability to cope is less than stellar. Your house is a bomb site and your blog is deader than Jon Snow. (There’s a 75% chance that Jon Snow will be resurrected, Mumabulous not so much).  Worse still you’ve suffered an horrific weight gain because you cant get to the gym but won’t stop drinking to compensate. Then you skim the school news letter and discover that Book Week is fast approaching.

You think to yourself “Sod Orf School! The last thing I want to do is procure two book character costumes outta my wazoo. That would eat into the dwindling reservoir of time I have to faff about listening to Richard Fidler podcasts and googling Clive Standen shirtless. Ah Clive its been so long I can barely remember what you look like…

It's all coming back to me now. And incidentally - Errrrrmaaaaaaagaaaaaawd!

It’s all coming back to me now. And incidentally – Errrrrmaaaaaaagaaaaaawd!

You then immediately feel pangs of guilt for entertaining such impure thoughts – the ones about Book Week not Clive. You do after all want to be a “hands on” parent and your kids get some much enjoyment out of this dressing up shite. You feel like the Grinch that stole Christmas which luckily doubles as a costume idea.

You initiate a brain storming session with your eight year old by suggesting that they go as the “bum that went psycho” from Andy Griffith’s The Day My Bum Went Pyscho”. The eight year old rolls her eyes at your in horror. You are secretly relieved that you don’t have to paper mache over two balloons.  You include your five year old and gather around the book shelf for inspiration.

Of course Dadabs built it and is responsible for the art work on top.

Of course Dadabs built it and is responsible for the art work on top.

The five year old pulls out this tome and says cheekily “Here’s a good one”.

the emperors new clothes med

This once again demonstrates that P2 not only looks like me, she thinks like me. Lock up your sons now!

You suggest that they both go as Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie but this idea is regarded as “daggy” rather than retro chic.

Its an antique - just like me.

Its an antique – just like me.

The eight year old decides she wants to be the Cat in the Hat and the five year old eschews Little Red Riding Hood for Snow White. Conveniently she has a generic Snow White dress from K-mart. Easy but lame.

You wonder to myself how parents who work full time cope with this crap. When the day of the Book Parade rolls around you get your answer. Harried working parents cope in two ways

  1. They  put their child in a generic dress up from Target or K-mart regardless of whether the outfit as anything to do with literature.
  2. They throw money at the problem.

At this year’s parade our school yard was awash with Harry Potters. Iron man was out in force, as was Spiderman and Batman. I spotted one Superman and a Thor. Whilst I dont have an issue with the Comic book universe coming under the umbrella of literature, I’d hoped some of its hawter elements could be represented. The hawtest comic book element is of course Loki but Chris Pratt as Starlord is closing in fast from the rear (Oh my!!!). Paul Rudd’s Antman is also very, very hawt.  Disappointingly all three were absent.

Chris Pratt almost out hawts Tom Hiddleston.

Chris Pratt almost out hawts Tom Hiddleston

There was however, a gaggle of Darth Vaders accompanied by an army of Storm Troopers and ship loads of miscellaneous pirates. They mingled with a coven of witches with outfits recycled from last Halloween. A large contingent simply donned  animal onesies – I mean there’s got to a book about a giraffe somewhere right? Most surprising was the excess of minions. I had no idea that the Despicable Me franchise was based in literature but there were at least two minions per class. The playground was a symphony of  yellow and blue.  Strangely one girl came dressed in a black body suit with a matching face mask. She was carrying a whip. I thought she might have been from 50 Shades of Grey but its turns out she was Cat Woman. At the other end of the spectrum there were a cast of Lord of the Rings, King Arthur and Robin Hood type characters whose parents obviously shelled out the big bucks at a fancy costume hire place.

As is the case every year a small number of parents used the occasion to show off. We had a smattering of highly original and skillfully put together pieces from families who apparently do “have time fo’ dat”. We had the wardrobe from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, the house that Alice in Wonderful exploded out of and the Magic Bus. A dozen sixth graders carried a magnificent rainbow serpent like dragon dancers on Chinese New Year.

For me the parade itself was ninety minutes of sitting in the sunlight worrying about work that wasn’t getting done. At least the music which obviously reflected the senior teachers personal taste, was completely on point. There was nary a tune produced after 1985. When AC/DCs classic “Its a long way to the top” began playing our mild mannered head master started head banging. P2’s teacher head banged harder but he’s charismatic. A daggy Dad standing behind me started singing loudly “Its a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll”.  When a boy shuffled past with a fake bald head and enormous plastic ears shuffled past the same Dad yelled out “there’s Tony Abbott’. Fair enough Tony Abbott does have his own book – Battlelines.

How was your Book Week experience? Did you enjoy it? Or did you find it just another thing to cram into an already overstuffed schedule?




I cobbled together the Cat in the Hat outfit and P2 decided to go as Anna at the last minute. I know - f%#king lame.

I cobbled together the Cat in the Hat outfit and P2 decided to go as Anna at the last minute. I know – f%#king lame.


Here's what happened 30 seconds later.

Here’s what happened 30 seconds later.


Charlie Hunnam as King Arthur is welcome at my Book Parade.

Charlie Hunnam as King Arthur is welcome at my Book Parade.

17 thoughts on “Book Week Mayhem

  1. Firstly, thanks for the man candy – always good to see some good looking men! 🙂 Anyway, yes, Book Week is a major pain in the butt. My youngest just started High School this year and I have to say I won’t miss Book Week one little bit.

  2. P2 does think like you! We have our Book Week Parade next week and they make the damn teachers get dressed up too. I’ve been a cat (not as adorable as your little kitten but more like a flea-bitten moggy that needs to be put down) and a Smurf. A minion sounds good but the costume would be too hard to make. I’m trying desperately to think of who to go as. I’m thinking of the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Or Katniss Overgrown or whatever her name is from The Hunger Games. It’s all a pain in the bum. I love Chris Pratt.

    • You teachers put up with many indignities. You could simply purchase an adult sized minion onesie – problem solved (if such a thing is available in Tropical Queensland). Meanwhile Chris Pratt is smokin’ hawt! This blog should feature more of him.

  3. Book Week – whilst I am glad my eldest loves to read, I personally find this event a pain. School won’t allow any superheroes (which of course most of the kids want to be dressed as), plus it is still freezing cold here so there is also the dilemma of “what is going to be warm enough for you to wear as you will forget to get changed after the parade”!

  4. Omg laughed so hard. My kids are 10 and 12. I told them 3 times to organise their costumes ended up with me and miss 10 running to Westfield last night while miss 12 was in her dance class. In the end their costumes were regular clothes and roughly went with their characters (dork diaries for miss 10 and an esoteric beautiful book for miss 12 that no one else in year 6 had heard of bar the one friend she loaned the book to). And I did not go to the parade lol. I did my time years ago sitting in the sun for easier bloody bonnet parades etc for too many years. Mama has stuff to do now 😉

  5. I swear I never had book week at school. Is this a thing everywhere? Why did I miss out? It seems like everyone has to endure it. I’m a fan of any costume that can be creatively interpreted. Like wearing your regular clothes and saying you’re Matilda.

  6. Book week next week for me….

  7. Urghhh. This one gets me every year. thankfully we get the choice to dress up and/or bring in a fave book. I’m taking the ‘or’ option! Xx

  8. 2 schools, got to do the whole fiasco twice. Daughter wanted to go as Jasmine (I kept saying ‘you mean Princess in Arabian Nights’ and showed her our copy) but then a girl said she looked weird in the outfit (I told her to tell the girl she’s racist) so there was a last minute switch to Cinderella.
    At both book parades I sat on the ground so parents could see over me, and at both, selfish dumbass parents STOOD in front of me (and at one, I lost it and had a fight with said dumbass when I missed getting a shot of my kid, because she was ‘just checking on my child’ who was sitting down in his class group…doing nothing.

  9. Ah so… 1. Jax is King Arthur!! Noice. 2. Chris Pratt for the win. No super hero costume could ever make Paul Rudd sexy in my humble opinion. 3. Book Week is the most scary part of my eldest child starting school next year!! Freaks me out. The pressure. I will be the parent that freaks for a fortnight and then the night before pulls a super hero costume from the wardrobe.

  10. I hate dress ups at school.. Always have always will. My poor kids always looked like crap and I always felt like a crap mum when I saw how every other kid looked so good

  11. I’ve had this post in my inbox and haven’t gotten around to reading it. Thanks for linking up x
    It looks like Izzy will miss out on book week, she’s still got the flu. She was wearing her Cinderella dress, I’d be getting out of it easy. I was really pushing for the witch out of Room on the broom though so there was less lameness 🙂

  12. Two years to go then it’s over for us, I actually feel the need to celebrate.. One year at the school the kids all wore their onesies ie one group got together and were the three little pigs with the big bad wolf. That year was a dream but the following onesies were a no go.

  13. This is one thing I am not looking forward to about my girls going to school. Coming up with costumes. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat and I’m pretty sure I’ll be delegating the task to Nana!

  14. Mumabs, I LOATHE Bookweek. You know what I loathe more than Bookweek? All the parents who don’t work and have Operes ( I don’t have one so effed if I know how to spell it) and get all excited and make elaborate costumes that put mine to shame! Meanwhile, despite David Jones promising to deliver the White dress my daughter needed to be Susannah the slave girl the next day if I paid premium postage, the damn thing arrived 2 days late! ( cuss words here). I know buying a slave girls dress from David Jones seems odd, it is cheaper and quicker than sewing some rags together or paying exorbitant amounts of money at my local St Vinnies for second hand clothes. Furthermore…In what seemed like a stroke of genius at the time, I too convinced my son to go as Zac Freeman of Psycho Bum fame, thinking he’d just need to dress up as a regular boy with some toilet paper around his waist. I ended up paper mâché ing away until 11pm at night making Zac’s butt and then taking turns with my father in the morning to blow dry that bastard dry 😞. Sorry. Needed to get it off my chest.

    jo xxxx

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