Each year there is a certain week of the school year that causes mass panic for most parents… BOOK WEEK! That daunting task of coming up with a book character themed costume that your kids will love, that won’t cause you a mountain of stress creating it.
Easy Book Week costume ideas are always a winner. And usually, it is cheaper to make something at home than purchase a costume.
If you have the time! If you don’t, we’ve got you covered as well with some pre-made costume options at the end.
SIMPLE BOOK WEEK COSTUME IDEAS 2021
Each year there is a different theme for Australian Book Week and it takes place in August. The 2021 Book Week theme is “Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds” and scheduled for the week of August 21-27 in Australian schools.
Book Week celebrations are a wonderful way to encourage a love of reading for children and motivate them to read more.
These Book Week costume ideas will help inspire you with loads of easy to create costumes that can be made at home.
I have added in some less traditional book character costume ideas to suit the theme of the year too.
This post has been updated with the new theme with fun new ideas added.
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Classic Book Character Costumes
There are certain books that have always remained popular choices for book parades and dress ups. You are sure to see one or two of these at each Book Week parade or when scrolling ideas on Pinterest. So it only seemed right to start with Book Week Costume ideas from these classic storybooks.
These are the stories most of us grew up with, no matter our age and they are always easy to spot in the crowd amongst the newer book characters and recent favourites.
This would not be a proper Book Week costume list without a mention of the Gruffalo. This is a great tutorial for creating your own Gruffalo costume and mask.
> Get the book Gruffalo book
Roald Dahl was one of my absolute favourite authors as a child and his books are still much loved by children today. This BFG costume is a pretty easy one to make and inexpensive too which is a nice bonus.
> Get the BFG book
3. Harry Potter and Friends
While it may be a modern day hit, Harry Potter has easily become a classic that will be loved for the generations to come. Most kids dream of getting their letter to Hogwarts, so why not have the Hogwarts robes to get them started! They make great book week costume ideas for boys and girls as well.
>Get the Harry Potter Books here
4. Alice In Wonderland White Rabbit House Costume
This is a classic costume with a twist – the famous scene of Alice in Wonderland stuck inside the white rabbit’s house makes a fun difference to a traditional Alice costume. This is one you can easily make at home using items you have already.
> Get the Alice In Wonderland book here
5. Wizard of Oz Scarecrow
The Wizard of Oz is a beloved book and film that has been read over many generations. The original book by L Frank Baum was published back in 1900. This scarecrow costume would be a great option for creating a Wizard of Oz scarecrow for Book Week.
> Get the Wizard Of Oz book here
6. Tin Man
And it wouldn’t be right to have scarecrow without the Tin Man. I love this non traditional Tin Man costume with a tutu for a little something different.
7. Where The Wild Things Are
This story kind of creeps me out a little however it does make for a really cool costume for kids… or adults! It is also perfect for any Book Week theme! What I love most about this DIY Where The Wild Things Are costume is the fact that it is made from a paper bag. You can’t get much more budget-friendly than a paper bag craft costume!
> Get the Where The Wild Things Book here
8. Mr Tumnus
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and all the other books in the Narnia Chronicles are popular with older kids. This Mr Tumnus faun costume is a great way to bring some of the Narnia magic into Australian Book Week dress ups.
Those fuzzy pants look really warm too! After all, it’s winter in Australia in August! Maybe a long sleeve vest is a good choice.
> Get the Narnia Chronicles books here
9. Mr Bump
The Mr Men and Little Miss books were another collection of favourites from my childhood and with this easy Mr Bump tutorial, you could easily create any of the Mr and Miss series characters. Such a simple idea!
> Get the Mr Bump book here
10. The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
This incredible sibling costume for classic Narnia book The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is truly spectacular. What an impressive DIY costume with woodgrain vinyl from K-mart to make the wardrobe.
> Get the Narnia Chronicles books here
11. Miss Muppet
The nursery rhyme many children grow up with, Miss Muppet is a cute costume to create for book week. If you have two kids, or if best friends want to dress up together, one can go as the spider!
The Disney classics and recent hits have all become beloved books as well over the years. Our kids have many Disney books, either based on the film stories or as side stories featuring their favourite characters in new adventures.
Disney costumes are a popular choice for many kids for world book day and book week and they tend to come in and out of trend based on film releases and sequels too.
12. Bo Peep Toy Story 4
We did a Toy Story family Halloween costume and our youngest was Bo Peep. This adorable Disney costume turned out even better than expected and cost a fraction of what it would have been to buy the costume instead.
Little girls love having beautiful long hair and for most of us, Rapunzel is who comes to mind when we talk long hair. This is an easy Rapunzel braid tutorial made from yarn which would be perfect paired with a pretty dress for a princess costume.
14. Woody and Jessy
One of our favourite films this year has been Toy Story 4, with Woody the cowboy and his high energy cowgirl friend Jessy making for fun dress up costumes.
15. Toy Story Barbie
You could make this any kind of Barbie, since the franchise has well and truly published many books over the years. For us, it was Toy Story Barbie as part of our family costume.
16. Buzz Lightyear
Woody’s sidekick Buzz Lightyear with his signature space ranger outfit is a popular choice for kids who want to grow up to become astronauts some day. Not to mention, he has some great catch phrases too. To infinity and beyond…
If you have more than one child, they may enjoy dressing up as different Frozen characters for fun themed sibling costume ideas. This Olaf costume is pretty darn epic and would make a fantastic Halloween or fancy dress costume for other events too. Seriously… how awesome is it!
18. Peter Pan
The boy who never wanted to grow up is a simple costume to create, especially if you have some green clothing already. Quintessential classic Disney and especially popular during the 2018 Book week pirate theme. There were quite a few Peter Pan appearances at my daughter’s first Book Week parade in 2018.
The loveable God Maui from Moana is a fun choice and not one you would expect to see so often for fancy dress parades. This costume was created using a Cricit cutting machine, which not only created the cut out leaf shapes but also printed the tattoo designs. AMAZING!
20. Minnie Mouse
Of course Minnie should make an appearance on this list! This is a costume we have done before since we have our Minnie Mouse ears from our Disneyland trip a couple of years back, just like in the top tutorial, however you can learn how to make your own instead! Trust me… it’s WAYYYYY cheaper!
Here’s a fantastic tutorial on making your DIY Minnie Mouse ears. Or of course, Mickey Mouse ears instead!
Dr Seuss Costumes
There is no denying when it come to book character costumes, there are loads of simple options featuring Dr Seuss characters. All kids have a favourite Dr Seuss book or three and they are often parent favourites too.
There is no better way than to relive your childhood through some literary classics as you introduce your own children to these favourite characters. Here are some great Dr Seuss costumes:
21. Green Eggs and Ham
This DIY Sam I Am and his green eggs and ham make a fun, simple Dr Seuss costume for book week. This was one of my favourite Dr Seuss books as a kid.
> Get the Sam I Am Book here
22. Thing 1 & 2
Thing 1 & Thing 2 has always been a really popular costume idea and a great one if you have two kids who want to dress up the same. Or maybe mum and dad want a matching costume idea…
> Get the books here
I love the simplicity of this Lorax costume – an orange hoodie and track pants teamed with some felt. So easy, especially if they already have the orange outfit!
> Get the Lorax book here
24. The Sneetches
It’s pretty amazing what you can do with a coloured shirt and some felt. Felt crafts are some of my favourite due to their simplicity and inexpensive nature. This Sneetches costume show exactly that!
> Get the The Sneetches book here
25. Fox In Socks
Another simple Dr Seuss costume that can be created mostly with clothing your kids may already have or some inexpensive basics from the local department store. Add some cute ears and a tail, and you’re set for Fox in Socks! These make for perfect last minute book week costumes.
> Get the Fox In Socks book here
26. Cindy Lou
My kids love watching The Grinch film although we have not read How The Grinch Stole Christmas together yet. This Cindy Lou Who costume has to be the cutest thing ever. So freaking adorable!
> Get the Grinch book here
While they may not come to mind first when talking book characters, each popular superhero has certainly made it into storybook form for younger audiences. And of course, classic comic books!
Inspired by the “Reading is my superpower” Bookweek 2019 theme, these costumes are a fun chance to show off some superpowers of their own. Or have your kids create their own book-themed superheroes using some inspiration from these superhero book week costume ideas!
The God of Thunder may be every mum’s favourite superhero if we are talking Chris Hemsworth (I’m sure some of you are nodding right now) however he’s also a pretty cool superhero to a lot of kids.
Plus the next Thor film will feature a female Thor, so there’s no reason little girls can’t rock the hammer this Book Day! This is an incredible Thor costume tutorial to make at home.
Whether it’s classic Batman in his grey and black suit or the more modern head to toe black costume, a Batman mask is always fun for kids! Or Batgirl as a fun alternative!
29. Captain America
See how you can create a Captain America shield and costume at home on the cheap! How fun it will be for your kids to walk the Book Week parade with their shield in hand, because let’s face it – kids love props!
30. Wonder Woman
The original lady boss, these Wonder Woman cuffs make a simple accessory if your child only wants a little bit of a superhero influence for Book week, or team them with a homemade cape for a more complete costume.
31. T-Shirt Cape
For a thrifty superhero costume, this is a fantastic tutorial on turning an old T-shirt into a cape. Get creative and form your own superhero characters with your children. Or create capes inspired by their favourite book superheroes instead.
32. Dog Man
The Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey of Captain Underpants fame is a popular reading choice for kids. Loaded with humour and adventure, this Dog Man costume is sure to make them proud.
> Get the Dog Man books here
33. Lady Bug & Cat Noir
While it may not come to mind when talking books, the Miraculous television series has certainly branched out to include books in their line up. This tutorial includes both Ladybug and Cat Noir DIY costumes. Fun for dress ups at home too.
34. DIY Reading is my Superpower Costume
If you can’t find any book week dress up ideas that your kids love, maybe it’s time to go against the grain! Who says your superhero needs to be one that already exists in the pages of a book?
Have your kids come up with their very own superhero for Book Week, using this tutorial as a guide to help you create the costume of their dreams.
Australian Book Week Costumes
Australian Book Week is one of my favourite times of the year to see all the incredible DIY costumes shared by friends online. There are some seriously creative parents who put together some epic home grown costumes for their kids.
For some Australian character favourites, these costumes are perfect for Aussie Book Week with everything from classic May Gibbs to recent favourites that kids love:
35. Gumnut Babies
The May Gibbs Gumnut babies are iconic in Australian children’s literature and this tutorial is a simple option for creating a budget-friendly, adorable Australian book character costume.
36. Thelma The Unicorn
Like many little girls, my daughters adore unicorns and they love Thelma the Unicorn too. This costume idea for Book Week is from Pinterest with no tutorial, however it would be an easy one to create with a headband and some sparkly accents!
> Get the Thelma The Unicorn Book here
37. Macca The Alpaca & DHarma The Llama
Favourite Australian children’s book series Macca The Alpaca and Dharma The Llama are brought to life in this epic sibling costume.
More Book Character Costume Ideas
These storybook costumes don’t fit so well in the other categories so they are getting their own instead! Some of these are less traditional book characters, or they are book characters that don’t fit under the other headings. Either way, they make great costume ideas for kids that you can mostly make at home!
With almost every character you can think of making their way onto the pages of a storybook at some point, almost anything goes for Book Week, so long as it features on the pages somewhere so bring your child’s favourites to life with one of these fun costume ideas:
38. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has always been popular, especially now it has been up on the big screen too. This Greg Hefly comic book style costume is a great easy one to make and you may even have everything you need at home already.
> Get the Diary of a Whimpy Kid books here
39. Shh We Have a Plan Costumes
These super cute costumes can easily be adapted to school-age kids and are pretty darn simple overall. Perfect if Shh We Have a Plan is a favourite book of your kids!
> Get the Shh We Have A Plan book here
40. Luke Skywalker
With a lightsaber and intergalactic skills, Luke Skywalker is an exciting character to dress up as and thankfully a simple one too. If you have a karate outfit, you can pretty much just add a belt and lightsaber to it and be ready to go!
Luke Skywalker needs his robotic sidekick and this R2D2 costume was too cool not to include. This is a really creative tutorial and super fun too.
42. Poppy & Branch From Trolls
With the motion picture film Trolls and the subsequent Netflix series, Poppy and Branch have become popular favourites with kids in their modernised version of the classic Troll Dolls.
These easy to make Troll headbands are a great way to create simple book parade ideas without needing actual crazy hair! With the new film coming out soon, they make popular book week 2020 costume ideas.
43. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Another children’s storybook favourite, I love the fact this Very Hungry Caterpillar costume is in butterfly form instead. There is no tutorial for this one though. Found on Pinterest.
> Get the The Very Hungry Caterpillar book here
44. The Ella Diaries
This adorable boxtume is perfect for Ella Diaries fans! An easy one to create from large cardboard panels, paint and pens. Your kids will have fun helping to make it.
45. Mo Willems Pigeon Costume
If your child loves Pigeon and his adventures from the Mo Willems series, they will love this easy Book Week costume (and so will you)!
Book Week Costumes To Buy
Not everyone has the time or the DIY inspiration to make a costume at home, and that’s fine too! There are some incredible and inexpensive costumes available online to buy instead. They even have some great Book Week costumes for teachers.
Little Koala Book Club have storybook and dress-up boxes that are perfect for a simple costume and a new book to love. You can also subscribe to the club and have monthly book club boxes delivered to the door, inspiring imagination and a love of reading.
For more Book Week costumes Australia, here are some of my favourite pre-made options:
46. Where’s Wally
Get the Where’s Wally costume here.
47. Mad Hatter
Get the Mand Hatter costume here.
48. Captain Underpants
Get the Captain Underpants costume here.
49. Frodo – Lord of the Rings
Get the Frodo costume here.
50. Willy Wonka Golden Ticket
Get the Wonka chocolate costume here.
Need a last minute Halloween costume? Check out these easy ideas.
Check out more book inspired ideas:
- Books about becoming a big brother or sister
- Books about starting school
- Easter books for kids
- Picture books about Australia
Do you have any cool Book Week costume ideas you’ve tried in the past? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear it! And share this post to Pinterest via the image below! Be sure to follow me on Facebook or YouTube for more costume ideas like these!