With World Book Day fast approaching, we wanted to put together our own little tips on how to dress up as the beloved characters created by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, from their bestselling books together:

Who better for dress-up inspiration than this trio of creative, curious and determined kids with big dreams?

1. Ada Twist


First, determined Ada Twist, with her boundless curiosity for science and love of asking the question ‘Why?’

What you’ll need:

  • Red and white dotted dress (example here)
  • Yellow gloves (find them in any supermarket or hardware store)
  • Plastic lab glasses or goggles (borrow some from school or find online)

Those are the core elements but you can complete the look with long white socks, black T-Bar shoes and a yellow hair bobble. Keep the outfit ready for British Science Week too from 9th-17th March!

2. Rosie Revere

Layout 1

Lots of wonderful creative people have done their own Rosie Revere DIY outfits. In fact, Bambino Goodies posted a great one today:

‘This was Kitty’s choice last year and reasonably simple. I added striped fabric to the bottom of a plain white dress (using Wonderweb, of course), which she wore with white knee socks and red ballet pumps, bought some red and white spotty fabric for a headscarf and covered a Hogwarts lunchbox we had with blackboard sticker sheets so we could write ROSIE on it. Getting her curls vaguely straight was probably the trickiest bit!’

via ‘ World Book Day Costume Ideas’ on

Another useful guide was put together by Momma, PHD, which also uses hemming tape as the no-sew option for embellishing the bottom of the white t-shirt dress. If you prefer, you can get hold of fabric pens and use masking tape to create a template for the black and red stripes at the bottom of the dress before filling them in together.

What you’ll need: 

  • A white t-shirt (or regular) dress or oversized white t-shirt.
  • Fabric pens + masking tape or hemming tape
  • A red and white dotted strip of fabric for the headscarf
  • Long white socks or tights
  • Red shoes or sandals (optional)

2018 is the Year of Engineering so a great time to inspire the next generation of young engineers!


3. Iggy Peck

IggyPeck_JKT_23th_Layout 1

Iggy loves building things, and he’ll use anything that comes to hand for his creations! He also likes his patterned knitwear. This outfit is harder to DIY but can be put together with some wardrobe essentials.

What you’ll need:

  • A grey or black and white jumper (patterned, fairisle, jacquard or similar)
  • Alternatively you can go with Iggy’s white t-shirt look from later in the book, and tie any jumper around your waist
  • Grey, dark grey or black jeans
  • Green shoes or converse
  • A pencil behind your ear
  • An excellent quiff

We hope you have a wonderful World Book Day!

5 Books for the National #TimeToRead Challenge!



This week (18-22 September) the wonderful Booktrust are launching their #TimeToRead campaign, which encourages parents to find ten minutes a day to read with their child. The campaign particularly urges parents or carers not to abandon story time once the child has learned to read. Just ten minutes of shared reading time can have amazing benefits for both parent or carer and child. You can find out all about the campaign and research here and can follow along with the hashtag on social media.

We’re supporting this fantastic campaign and have put together five(-ish) recommendations of current books to read with your child for ten minutes (or more!) each day:

  1. Say Zoop! by Hervé Tullet

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Tullet’s books encourage participation from their readers as they explore and interact with the physical book in all its dimensions. Liberate your imaginations as a family, make sounds together and experience the book’s magical response. Say Zoop! is perfect for sharing some reading time in those early years and for early learning. If you enjoy this interactive board book, check out Tullet’s Press Here.

  1. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty & David Roberts

Ada Twist


Pack your ten minutes with the empowering, inspiring STEM picture book series from best-selling Andrea Beaty & David Roberts. Join Ada Twist, Scientist with her love of science, her curiosity and propensity for always asking ‘Why?’. Follow Rosie Revere, Engineer as she pursues her engineering dreams, inventing gizmos and gadgets and read about the creativity of Iggy Peck, Architect as he tries to inspire his new teacher and classmates with his inventive architecture and designs. Feeling inspired? Pair them with the companion Big Project Books for Iggy and Rosie, with Ada’s to follow next year!

3. Wordless Picture Books: Professional Crocodile & Lines



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Wordless picture books are great for shared and repeat readings, with new details to be found in each re-visit. Both adult and child can work together to interpret and interact with the art. Try the clever and witty Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli (illus. Mariachiara Di Giorgio) or the poignant Lines by Suzy Lee. The latter starts from a simple pencil line, morphing into different scenes, following the trail and story of a young skater. You’ll find yourself coming back to this format again and again over the years.

4. The Frank Einstein series by Jon Scieszka (illus. Brian Biggs)



With the final book due next year, now is the perfect time to catch up on the Frank Einstein series! Frank loves to tinker, build and take things apart. He loves to observe, hypothesise, experiment and invent. He’s a kid genius, who also occasionally has to thwart evil doomsday plans when things go wrong. These adventures are packed full of humour and a good dose of zany science-fuelled shenanigans. (Ages 8-12)

  1. Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki and BOOM! (illus. Brooke Allen)



This technically isn’t out yet… but have it on your radar because this hilarious, rollicking adventure brings the already beloved Lumberjanes characters into novel format. You won’t want to leave Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, with its ensemble of diverse lovable characters and quick-witted problem-solving. It’s full of heart, epic friendships and the occasional unicorn. Look out for it from 10th October – it’s unlike anything else out there and bursting with fun for all ages. (Ages 9+)




The story behind Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robinson.

Ada's Ideas Cover

My latest picture book is called Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer.

I first came across Ada Lovelace in a somewhat circuitous manner. I had seen the play Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, and was enthralled by the lead character Thomasina. Thomasina is a Regency era child genius – a girl brilliant at maths, physics and engineering. I fell in love with her and the idea of a girl like her existing in that era.

Ada as a baby pps 10_11

About a year later I read that Stoppard may have based his character on one Ada Lovelace, little known in the mainstream world, but deeply respected in the world of computer science. Thomasina existed!

Ada in the factory pps 16_17

The more I read about Ada the more I became obsessed with her. Ada, the daughter of the ‘mad, bad, and dangerous to know’ poet Lord Byron and Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke. A girl separated from her father soon after birth by her mother who feared the influence of Byron’s reckless lifestyle. A girl who suffered a long term childhood illness and an over bearing mother who tried to steer her on a safe course (poetry free!) towards becoming a respectable aristocratic lady!

(Ada’s mum and dad pages 8_9)

As a young woman Ada entered the world of the elite. She became friends with the likes of Charles Dickens, Michael Faraday and Charles Babbage. Her friendship with Charles Babbage and her mathematical brilliance led her to write what would become know as the worlds first computer program. And her vision of what a computer might be capable of astounded the pioneers of computing in the 20th century!

(Ada meeting people pages 22_23 )

I learned that Ada found her own sort of poetic experience, through mathematics. And I found this intriguing, uplifting, and a story I had to tell. Like many girls of my time I struggled with maths. I was the kid who got brought back into the classroom at lunchtime to wrangle long division. Maths made me cry.

(Ada sick pages 20_21

I wondered how many other little girls have a negative experience with maths. And as I read more about Ada and her achievement in becoming the world’s first computer programmer, I realised that Ada struggled too. She struggled to write the algorithm for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, but kept on going. She struggled to be taken seriously in a male dominated society, but never gave up.

(Ada last page 34_35 )

I hope Ada might become a heroine for primary school girls, not just in terms of her accomplishments, but because she used her imagination to fuel her work. And imagination is something all kids have in abundance!

(Ada on flying horse pages 6_7)

When I was first thinking about the art for Ada’s Ideas I wanted to try something new – 3 dimensional images, which I hoped would capture the drama and theatricality of Ada’s life. This involved sketching out the images, then colouring them with my favourite paints – Japanese watercolours.


I then cut out the images very carefully with an X-Acto blade which is pretty similar to a scalpel. I used over 500 blades to produce all the cut images for the book!

 X-Acto blade cut outs

Once cut, I layered all the images for each spread to different heights using Lego bricks and glued them in place. Then each spread was photographed.

Cutouts with lego bricks Cutouts with lego bricks

I really enjoyed creating the art, and hope too that it will be enjoyed by many young readers!

Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robinson is available now.