Book Week Costumes for Kids

I’m a longtime tragic Book Week. As a kid I have vivid memories of planning my Book Week costumes with my teacher librarian mom, my favorite being the year my sister and I went as rubber babies from the iconic May Gibbs books. I know some people dread planning Book Week costumes, but this is one school costume event that I love.

I let our kids pick their own Book Week characters (within reason!) but I’m also the teacher of ‘hey co-worker? I think you’d look as unbelievably cool as Zac Power and LOOK at these spy sunglasses we can get!’

You practically have two options with Book Week; you can buy a ready-made costume, or you can DIY with things you have around the house and a bit of running around for ‘bits and pieces’. The costumes below are a mix of ours and some of costume box, because their service is super fast and as far as the Book Week costume panic goes, super fast is good. I’ve captioned each costume with the book or character from the book and be sure to scroll down to the end of the post for an essential costume accessory!


All of the costumes in the gallery above are ones I’ve created with the kids and have been a lot of fun and not *too* much work. Prue Theroux The Cool Librarian was one of my favorites, all of her arms were made of stuffed sleeves – PudStar totally OWNed this character!

Create the costume together so they take ownership of it and remember that simplicity is key. This year, ChickPea is featured as a DIY rainbow parrot (from Pete Cromer’s book), The Smallest bee is featured as a rhinoceros (gray trackie and mask), and the other two will be very low-key. If he has a son who doesn’t like costumes but does play sports, accompany him with a book. I love seeing netball, basketball, cricket and football uniforms on display and one year I had about eight girls all in netball uniforms as characters from the ‘Basketball Gems’ Serie. This actually led to a wave of loans of these books, which is the result we librarians want from the Book Week dress-up day.

There are some years when DIY costumes just won’t happen, and in fact, it’s great to add a new costume to the costume box at home every once in a while. We all do what we can do in the time we have available and I refuse to feel guilty about a purchased costume. Also, I will NEVER have a ‘best dressed’ award on my costume day – this is not a creativity competition for kids (or parents). Some of my favorite costumes or accessories from the Costume Box include James and the Giant Peach (there’s a whole section on Roald Dahl costumes), astronauts (several books but in this case it was like Neil Armstrong), Harry Potter, a fox (some books!), a pig (some books!), viking from ‘Vognox the Viking’, ‘cat in the hat’ Y ‘Where is Wally’. Order it and it will arrive in a week. DONE.

Pud’s love for Frida is well documented on the website and it’s a really easy costume with lots of books to go along with it, see here for Pud’s Frida room. Pudstar as Pippa from ‘Pippa’s Island’ it was one of the easiest costumes we’ve ever done and the bow was so much fun – we had the book cover and some props from the book sticking out.


A book lanyard or book necklace prevents having to carry the book around all day, easily identifies the costume and character, and as a bonus, seeing all those book covers in the school yard is the perfect advertisement for what you’re looking for. which you should read next. Simple and effective.

As a teacher librarian and mom, I learned the hard way (it wasn’t pretty) to organize costumes ahead of time. Now I put the costumes out the weekend before Book Week, have a fitting, and then calmly say, “and Wednesday morning, NO alterations… do it all.understand?”.

Some years I really got tough and bribed my kids with gift cards to be SUPER GOOD for Book Week. In our shared calendar, the beekeeper I recently noticed the entry ‘Book Week AKA Be Kind to Megan Week’. Indicated.

May the Force be with you this Book Week! If you need a costume, check out my ideas for adults here!

Leave a Comment