Gifts Today magazine

Roald Dahl celebrates biggest World Book Day ever

As school children all over the country braved the snow to dress up as their favourite book characters for World Book Day last week, the Roald Dahl Story Company got involved

Retailers nationwide including George, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Argos and Morrisons sold a record number of Smiffy’s Roald Dahl dress up costumes, with the category expected to deliver a YoY uplift of more than100% (WBD 2018 v WBD 2017).

Social media was flooded with pictures of children dressed up as their favourite Roald Dahl characters in costumes, bought or made at home.

George and M&S also complemented the cross-category offering with 5 new Roald Dahl nightwear SKU’s across The BFG, Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Partnering with World Book Day on their over-arching theme of ‘Share a Story’, the Roald Dahl Story Co also joined forces on a video giving practical advice to parents on how they can share stories with their kids. Filmed at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, the finished video can be seen here:

Meanwhile, Giant Musical Bugs - aka Centipede and the Old-Green-Grasshopper from James and the Giant Peach - appeared at each of the World Book Day: Biggest Book Show on Earth roadshow events around the UK, performing in front of thousands of schoolchildren as the opening of the show. The Giant Bugs then read an extract of James and the Giant Peach for the World Book Day bedtime story in a Facebook Live that aired at 7pm.

As part of the peachy year ahead, February has seen new publishing hit the shelves; including a brand-new edition of James and the Giant Peach complete with fuzzy-as-peach-flesh stickers and James's Giant Bug Book, packed with fascinating facts about creepy-crawlies and fun activities to try at home, such as making an ant farm and building your very own bug hotel.

Meanwhile, brand new James and the Giant Peach merchandise launching throughout the year include a large range of homewares by Creative Tops, a 250-piece jigsaw puzzle by Paul Lamond, a Bug Explorer Kit, James hand puppet with finger puppet accessories by Fiesta Crafts and an extensive gifting range from Star Editions.

Stephanie Griggs, Licensing Director for the Roald Dahl Story Company said: 'World Book Day is such an impactful and important event in terms of sharing the love of stories, characters and reading. With Kirsten Grant as Director, World Book Day has become so energetic and inventive and grown in stature and impact accordingly. For a brand like Roald Dahl, it’s important to support such important grassroots work as strongly as we can, to play our part in encouraging parents to read more to their kids and in general to contribute to this epic celebration of stories and storytelling in schools, bookshops and homes throughout the UK.'

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