The Beauty of Books, as described by Roald Dahl’s characters

The Beauty of Books, as described by Roald Dahl’s characters

Roald Dahl is loved by many for the wonderful way his words transport us from our chair at home, to magical worlds full of excitement and intrigue, where the impossible is possible and the only limits are our own imagination. His love of reading was infectious, and his opinion on the importance of books well known.

Reading books gives a multitude of skills to both children and adults. World Book Day is about celebrating this through fancy dress and other book based activities. Whilst also appreciating the great authors and books that keep our passion for prose alive.

Beginning in 1997, World Book Day, in partnership with National Book Tokens, gives away £1 book tokens to schoolchildren and young readers across the UK. Each year there is a special selection of £1 books. Pupils and teachers are encouraged to wear their favourite book character costumes such as Willy Wonka or Ms Trunchbull and take part in a variety of reading related games and activities aimed at inspiring the next generation of readers.

To celebrate this year’s upcoming World Book Day, we’ve found some of the best quotes from some of Roald Dahl’s best loved characters, whilst also showing you where to get the Roald Dahl fancy dress costume that matches your favourite quote.


“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”

  • Matilda – Buy a Matilda costume here


charlie and the chocolate factory


Oh, books, what books they used to know, those children living long ago! So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Buy a Charlie bucket Costume here


“‘A fox can dig quicker than a man!’ shouted Mr Fox beginning to dig, ‘Nobody in the world can dig as quick as a fox!”

Fantastic Mr. Fox – Buy a Fantastic Mr Fox costume here


“All the reading she had done had given her a view of life that they had never seen. If only they would read a little Dickens or Kipling they would soon discover there was more to life than cheating people and watching television.”

Matilda – Buy a Matilda costume here


“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Buy a Willy Wonka costume here


“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

The Twits – Buy a Mr or Mrs Twit costume here


“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable.”

Matilda – Buy a Matilda costume here


“I is reading it hundreds of times,’ the BFG said ‘And I is still reading it and teaching new words to myself and how to write them. It is the most scrumdiddlyumptious story.’

The BFG – Buy a BFG costume here


“I cannot for the life of me see why children have to take so long to grow up. I think they do it on purpose.”

Matilda– Buy a Miss Trunchbull costume here


Roald Dahl Matilda fancy dress costumes


We couldn’t however, finish this list without a couple of quotes from the person whose fantabulous imagination brought us some of the most memorable characters in modern literature:


“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”

Roald Dahl – Buy Roald Dahl Fancy Dress here


“If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.”

Roald Dahl – Buy Roald Dahl Fancy Dress here


Last year’s World Book Day was the biggest ever, exchanging an amazing 789,738 £1 book tokens, topping the Book Bestseller Charts in the process with the special World Book Day release of ‘The Great Mouse Plot’

There were also some amazing reading related activities for everyone to enjoy including Author book readings, and a huge success in achieving the Guinness World Record for ‘the most people taking part in simultaneous literature quizzes in multiple venues’. It also saw some amazingly inventive costumes, with a variety of fantastic Roald Dahl fancy dress on show to celebrate his 100th Birthday.

This year, its 20th year, looks set to be bigger and better than ever. Not only is it expected to break the 1 Million £1 book barrier for the first time. Improved and expanded activity packs are already out with schools, jam packed with more World Book Day activities than ever before. All that’s left is for children, teachers and parents to get in the spirit and don their best  Book Day costume’s to make it the best day yet!

If you’re struggling to select your Book Day Fancy Dress, look no further than Smiffys range of officially licensed Roald Dahl fancy dress. Containing everyone’s favourite characters including Matilda, the BFG and Fantastic Mr Fox, you are sure to stand out from the crowd.

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