World Book Day (7 March) generally divides parents into two camps. The first cries, “Yay! A chance to get creative with my child’s fancy dress costume!” and the second… just cries.

If you fall into the latter camp, then don’t worry! We’ve got some easy wins for you to get through the day with minimal fuss and maximum cool points.

Maximise your chances

Choose a series of books and there’s a greater chance you’ll find one of the characters that resembles something already lurking in your child’s wardrobe.

Think Mr Men and Little Miss for example. Get them to wear blue and wind a bandage (or toilet paper) round their head and tummy to make your very own Mr Bump. Or, if you’d rather, go for all yellow and plait their hair to make a simple Little Miss Sunshine costume. You can find more Mr Men and Little Miss inspo here.

If you’ve got a Rainbow Magic Fairy book fan, then chances are you can pull something out of the bag with minimum effort. There are literally hundreds of fairies to choose from, and you can buy some fairy wings inexpensively from lots of places, if you don’t already have some leftover from Halloween. Just search for one that suits your child’s style.

You can rely on Roald Dahl

Not only a genius of children’s literature, Roald Dahl is also a good bet for World Book Day. Although he has written many extraordinary characters, their charm is often that they are quite ordinary in appearance. This is good news for those of us who reach for the wine when fancy dress announcements are made. Sure, you can go fancier if you like and fashion a Willy Wonka outfit or an outrageously orange Oompa Loompa. But there are easier options available too: think a simple blue dress and a pile of books for Matilda, or give your child a saucepan and spoon and send them off as George from George’s Marvellous Medicine.

Don’t beat yourself up over buying one

If you really break out in a rash at the very thought of making your own, then lots of supermarkets and high-street stores now sell ready-to-go World Book Day outfits for less than £15, so you could buy one if you’d rather. Selling sites such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace are also good places for picking up a second-hand bargain, and you can’t beat a good old rummage in a charity shop or car boot sale. If you’re concerned they’ll outgrow their outfit by the time World Book Day 2020 comes around, at least you can relax in the knowledge you can sell it on next year!

Have you got any tried-and-tested ideas for World Book Day fancy dress costumes? We’d love to hear them! Just leave your ideas in the comments below.

Still feeling stuck? You can also check out these handy videos showing some more ideas for cracking character costumes.

Feeling inspired to read more? Check out the East Sussex E-library and find your next great read!