World Book Day

Our household was a hive of activity this morning, owing to the arrival of “World Book Day”. Both my other half, and our eldest daughter work in schools – respectively a school secretary at an infant school, and a childcare assistant at a pre-school.

I had to look twice this morning when an amazingly accurate re-creation of Mary Poppins (the Julie Andrews version) arrived in the kitchen, complete with flowers in her hat, shawl on her shoulders, and shoes with heels. A few minutes later a rather charming female version of “Where’s Wally” (or “Waldo”, depending on where you live) arrived in the kitchen – complete with trademark woolly hat.

I’m wondering how many children will arrive at school this morning having fallen victim to competition among their parents – dressed from head to toe in outrageously expensive off-the-shelf movie character costumes, rather than anything to do with a book the children might like.

I’m not going to go off on one. I promise. Today is supposed to be a happy day about the books that made us who we are – not a ranty day about competitive parents.

So – it begs the question – can you name a book that has had a lasting impact on you – that has changed you ?

I’m going to come out of left field, and pick a book by Whitley Strieber that I picked up from a bargain book store years ago. It’s called “Communion”, and mixes fact and fiction together to recount one of the many stories that later became part of the “abduction” phenomenon. I read it as an impressionable early-twenty-something, and remember sitting up all night reading – one of the few times I have done so. It opened my mind to the possibility that there might be more than just “this” – and that our understanding of the world around us might be wrong, but that there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that either.

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