Kids Costumes for Book Week

If you are reading this then you probably fall within one to two camps – loving prepping your kids Book Week costumes or utterly dreading/loathing/resenting prepping Book Week costumes! I am the former. I have vivid childhood memories of planning Book Week costumes from Snugglepot to Mog.

Our four kids choose their own Book Week characters (within reason!) but I’m also the master of convincing a child that they really want to be a character from a book with a costume we can achieve.

There are plenty of options to buy a ready made costume, or you can DIY with things you have at home and a bit of running around for ‘bits and pieces’. I worked at Spotlight back in the day and am a big fan of their ready made and DIY options online, because where Book Week costume panic is concerned, online shopping is gold. Random fact – I worked in their craft department and purchased (with staff discount) more glitter, fur and tulle than any one person needs. My love of Spotlight runs deep.


All the costumes in the gallery above are ones I have created with the kids and they’ve been a huge amount of fun and not *too much* work. Prue Theroux The Cool Librarian was a personal favourite of mine, all her arms were made from stuffed sleeves – PudStar totally OWNED this character!

Create the costume together so they ‘own it’ and remember that simple is key. This year ChickPea plans to go as the mouse from Deb Abela’s new book ‘The Book of Wondrous Possibilities’ – grey tracksuit, mouse ears, painted nose and whiskers and wings (yes the mouse has wings!). The Smallest Bee wants to be a beekeeper from ‘The Book of Bees’. I was stoked with this bee-ish choice as we have a multitude of kids beekeeper veils and overalls in the garage! If you have a child who doesn’t love dress ups but does play a sport – tie it in with a book as it’s great to see netball, basketball, cricket and soccer uniforms on show wih their accompanying books.

There are some years that DIY costumes are just not going to happen, and actually it’s great to add a new costume to the dress up box at home every once in a while. Some of my favourite costumes or props from Spotlight include their Wizard of Oz, pirate and Hobbit costumes, as well as their props.


A book lanyard or a book necklace saves carrying the book all day, easily identifies the costume and character and, as an added bonus, seeing all those book covers around the schoolyard is perfect advertising for what you should read next. Simple and effective.

As a teacher librarian and parent, I’ve learnt the hard way (it wasn’t pretty) to organise costumes ahead of time. I now get the costumes out the weekend before Book Week, have a trial, and then say calmly, “and on Wednesday morning, there will be NO alterations…”.  

Some years I’ve really gone hardcore and bribed my children with giftcards to be SUPER WELL BEHAVED for Book Week. I am never above bribery as a parenting strategy.

May the Force be With You this Book Week! If you need a costume, check out my ideas for grown ups here!

July 25, 2022 at 06:37PM Megan Daley