World Book Day Costume Ideas

World Book Day, or book week in some schools, is just around the corner and normally this includes the task of dressing up for the day in a book character costume. Children are asked to dress up as their favourite book character and bring in a copy of the book along into school with them.

If you’re looking for some more inspiration for this years world book day costume ideas, then hopefully this collection can give you some help.

These ideas also give inspiration for Book character Halloween costumes, or fancy dress costume party ideas for kids. 

Many of these costume ideas are no sew and easy to make, so hopefully you can find something that works with the materials you already have on hand at home. I know I usually end up pulling together a costume at the last minute or repurposing a halloween outfit – so easy is always a good thing, but if you want to pull off something a bit more creative it’s always a great idea to start planning with some time to spare.

Best World Book Day Costumes

Ok so it’s time for the annual event, here are some easy costume ideas for your little girl or boy. It’s time to put together the perfect costume – let’s go!

Huge list of easy and creative World Book Day costume ideas for kids

When is World Book Day?

Is World book day on the same date every year? Nope..It is usually onthe first thursday in March so this year in 2022 it will be on March 3rd. It’s a special day to celebrate all of our favourite children’s books, from classic like paddington bear and Peter rabbit to the popular characters of modern hits like diary of a wimpy kid and captain underpants.

I’ve rounded up a wide selection of book inspired costumes. Click the link beneath each picture to find out more about how to make each outfit, and to take a look at or buy the relevant book for each one if you would like.

I’ve rounded up a wide selection of book inspired costumes. Click the link beneath each picture to find out more about how to make each outfit, and to take a look at or buy the relevant book for each one if you would like.

Since the list is pretty long (and picture heavy) I’ll list them all up front here so you can see the ideas at a glance to find your child’s favourite character, or scan this if you are looking for something specific.

I hope that we have something for everyone – with book day costume ideas for boys, book day costume ideas for girls, and plenty of costumes to suit all ages.

  • Cat in the hat
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Winnie the Witch
  • Rainbow Fish
  • Fantastic Mr Fox
  • Norman the Snail
  • Fifi and the Flower Tots
  • The Night Pirates
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Octonauts Dashi
  • Medusa
  • Gruffalo
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon
  • Sherlock Holmes / Detective
  • Mermaid – for The Singing Mermaid (or any other Mermaid story!)
  • Knight – for King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (or any other Knight story!)
  • Pirate – for “The Troll” (or any other Pirate story!)
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • The Paper Bag Princess
  • Rapunzel (x2)
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • The White Rabbit
  • The Mad Hatter
  • The Golden Ticket from Willy Wonka
  • Mr Strong from the Mr Men
  • Angelina Ballerina
  • The Lorax
  • Peter Pan
  • Tick Tock Croc from Peter Pan
  • Pippi Longstocking
  • Knuffle Bunny
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Tigger from Winnie the Pooh
  • Skeletons from Funny Bones
  • Glenda from The Wizard of Oz
  • The Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz
  • Tin Tin
  • Flower Fairy
  • Butterfly – from Everybody Loves Butterflies or any other Butterfly book
  • Cinderella
  • Little Bo Peep & Her Sheep

And now, take a look through at all the fantastic book day costumes in pictures!


The Cat in the Hat : See Home Made Costume / See Book

Get a red bow tie and make your own top hat to dress up as this beloved Dr Suess character.

Little Red Riding Hood World Book Day Costume IdeaLittle Red Riding Hood : See Home Made Cape / See Book

Dressing up as Little Red Riding Hood is an easy option for little girls who love fairy tales and classic stories. This one is perfect for nursery, reception or any of the younger age groups.

Winnie the witch world book day costume idea

Winnie the Witch: See Home Made Costume / See Book

Witches are also a good option for stories like The Wizard of Oz, Roald Dahl’s The Witches, The Worst Witch or even Harry Potter.

Rainbow fish world book day costume idea

Rainbow Fish: See Home Made Costume / See Book

This one is a fun and colourful creative costume for all ages.

Fantastic Mr Fox mask costume idea for world book dayFantastic Mr Fox : See Home Made Mask (with printable template) / See Book

Fantastic Mr Fox is a favourite Roald Dahl book with younger readers and this DIY mask is a fun way to level up your costume.

Norman the snail world book day costume idea

Norman the Slug with a silly shell: See Home Made Costume / See Book

A snail with a doughnut shell… how silly!

fifi and the flower tots world book day costume idea

Fifi and the Flowertots : See Home Made Costume / See Book

This is a fun and girly costume for preschool age children.

the night pirates world book day costume idea

A Night Pirate: See Home Made Costume / See Book

This is a creative costume that you can make from a huge piece of cardboard.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 12.46.59

Where the Wild Things Are : How to make these Paper Bag Masks / See Book

Kids will love to dress up as these wild creatures from the classic book by Maurice Sendak.

DIY Dashi Mask Octonauts world book day costume

The Octonauts: See Home Made Dashi Costume / See Book

The Octonauts are popular on CBeebies but before it was a preschool TV series, it was a book series.

homemade medusa costume world book day costume idea

Medusa: See home made costume / See book

This is a brilliant costume for kids who love myths and legends. You can customise a white shirt, and create the snake headdress.


Gruffalo : See home made costume / see book

We also have a tutorial on how to make a Gruffalo costume, so you can recreate this extremely popular Julia Donaldson character with his purple prickles, terrible claws and turned out toes!


The Very Hungry Caterpillar: See home made no sew costume / see book

This Eric Carle book is a toddler favourite, and an absolute classic for world book day.

Make a caterpillar craft or a healthy caterpillar snack to go along with it for extra fun.


Toothless from How to Train your Dragon : See how to make this costume from a sweat shirt / see book

This is a really comfortable costume, for kids who don’t want to wear something over complicated, scratchy or bulky. You could also add some black face paint.


Sherlock Holmes : See home made detective costume / see book

Sherlock Holmes is a great choice for older kids. My 10 year old boy loves these stories, and they were his dad’s favourite children’s books when he was growing up so it’s great that they can enjoy these stories together.

This is what world book day is all about, connecting with books and sharing with each other.

Easy Homemade Mermaid Costume. World book day costume ideaThe Singing Mermaid : See home made costume / see book

The Singing Mermaid is another favourite rhyming Julia Donaldson book which we love for bedtime stories.

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 09.52.16

Knight (for King Arthur and the Knights of the round table) : See no sew costume / see book

This costume is so easy to make by customising a white t-shirt and is also a super comfy one for kids to wear all day.

pirate troll world book day costume idea

A Pirate from “The Troll” : See Home Made Costume / See Book

This one is easily made by customising regular clothes, and is perfect for little people who love pirates. Add a parrot cuddly toy or soft toy adds to the effect!


Jack and the Bean Stalk : See Home Made Costume / See Book

Another classic fairytale costume for younger kids. Fee fi fo fum… I smell the blood of an Englishman, or a little kid dressed up as Jack and the Beanstalk for World Book Day!

the paper bag princess world book day costume idea

The Paper Bag Princess : See Home Made Costume / See Book

This is a cute and easy costume idea for any little princess who loves books.


Rapunzel : See DIY wig / See Book

With this one, you could make the Rapunzel wig to go along with a store bought costume to add a home made touch to your Princess costume for world book day.

Although Rapunzel is very popular due to the Disney movie Tangled, it is also a classic German fairytale.


Rapunzel (another version) : See diy head band

Here is another alternative for how to create your own fun Rapunzel costume.

Alice in wonderland world book day costume idea

(Photo courtesy of Stephanie Marie Photography

Alice in Wonderland : See home made costume /  White rabbit from Alice in Wonderland : See home made costume / See Book

How adorable are these matching brother and sister costumes for World Book Day? Grab a blue dress for Alice in Wonderland and bunny ears for your little White Rabbit.

DIY Mad Hatter Hat world book day costume idea

Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland : See DIY top hat tutorial 

Of course we can’t forget the Mad Hatter. This is one of the most popular costumes from Alice in Wonderland, along with the Queen of Hearts.


Golden Ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory : See diy costume / see book  

You can dress in normal clothes to be Charlie Bucket and make your own golden ticket to hold, made from yellow card or go one step further and dress your child up as the golden ticket itself!

mr strong costume made of cardboard box world book day costume idea

Mr Strong from the Mr Men : See DIY costume / see book

Other great Mr Men costume ideas include Mr Bump or Little Miss Chatterbox


Angelina Ballerina : See DIY costume / see book

What do you get if you combine a mouse and a ballerina? Angelina Ballerina of course!


The Lorax : See DIY lorax glasses / see book

Another classic read from Dr Suess


Peter Pan : See home made costume / see book

Peter Pan costume is a popular choice for World Book Day. My kids have enjoyed dressing as this character over the years.


Tick tock croc from Peter Pan: See home made costume / see book (this site also has lots more Peter pan ideas like Wendy or hook)

Pippi Longstocking costume world book day costume idea

Pippi Longstocking : See home made costume / see book (UK / US)

Pippi Longstocking is quite an easy choice, you need a red dress, odd socks and then you just need to master the hair style, with her plaits sticking up into the air.

DIY Bunny Costume Knuffle Bunny world book day costume ideaKnuffle Bunny : See DIY no sew headband / see book (UK / US)

Knuffle Bunny is a preschool book by popular American author Mo Willems.

diy winnie the pooh costume for girl
diy tigger from winnie the pooh costume

 Winnie the Pooh & Tigger : See home made costumes / see book (UK / US)

Dressing as Winnie the Pooh, Tigger or any of the other loveable characters from the classic books by A.A Milne is a great choice for younger children on World Book Day, and extremely cute.

easy skeleton costumes

Funny Bones : see home made skeleton costume / see book (UK / US)

These funny bones skeleton costumes will double up for Halloween! These classic books are by Allan Ahlberg.


Glenda and the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz : see home made costume / see book (UK / US)

The Wizard of Oz has so many costume ideas to offer, you could also consider the cowardly lion or Dorothy which are both quite easy costumes to put together.


Tin Tin : see home made costume / see book (UK / US)

For this classic Belgium comic book character, you need a blue jumper and sticking up hair.


Flower Fairy : see home made costume / see books (UK / US)

This fairy costume is extremely cute and sweet, and will work for children who love the Rainbow Fairies book series too.


Everybody Loves Butterfly : see home made wings / see book (UK /US)

There are many books about butterflies which you could use with this homemade butterfly costume, including the Very Hungry Caterpillar.

diy cinderella shirt for a cinderella costume

Cinderella : see home made costume / see book (UK / US)

Use a blue t-shirt to make your own Cinderella costume.

Little Bo Peep found her Sheep with overlaty

Little Bo Beep and Her Sheep : See home made costumes / see book (UK / US)

These nursery rhyme character costumes are made using comfy and cosy white fluffy onesies.

I hope these World Book day costume ideas have been helpful for your World Book Day or Book Week plans!

If you have made a costume that you’re really proud of, come over and share your pictures on the In The Playroom Facebook page. We’d love to feature you!

More Book Week Suggestions

Here are some more World Book Day and Book Week Activity suggestions to enjoy. Please go ahead and share with friends and family, fellow parents and educators.

More Costumes

For the littlest ones in your life


Matching costumes for siblings


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