Stress-free Book Week costume ideas

Get "connected to reading" this Book Week
Get "connected to reading" this Book Week Photo: Getty Images

Feeling stressed in your quest to help your kids with a Book Week parade costume? Don't worry, we are here to help! Here are some simple solutions that use common items you'll probably already have around the house.

Sports gear

  • Megs and the Vootball Kids by Mark Schwarzer and Neil Montagnana-Wallace
  • Specky Magee by Felice Arena and Garry Lyon 
  • Alice the Tennis Fairy by Daisy Meadows - others books in this series include Gemma the Gymnastic Fairy, Samantha the Swimming Fairy, Helena the Horseriding Fairy, Naomi the Netball Fairy, Francesca the Football Fairy, Zoe the Skating Fairy.
  • Netball Dreamz by Leeanne Vernon and Gillian Lee
  • Winning the World Cup by David Metzenthen
  • Harry and the Dinosaurs United by Ian Whybrow


  • Peter Pan by JM Barrie (Wendy and John in pyjamas or a nightie and dressing gown)
  • Benjamin Pillow and the Land of Nod by Richard Cooper 
  • Laura's Star by Klaus Baumgart  
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (pyjamas, bathrobe and towel)
  • I'm Still Awake Still by Elizabeth Honey and Sue Johnson
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (grandpa in his pyjamas)
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl (Sophie in a nightie)

Regular clothes with props

  • Where's Wally? by Martin Handford (red and white striped top and beanie, jeans, walking stick.
  • Zac Power by H.I. Larry (sunglasses, old mobile phone or calculator for a spypad, GIB id card on lanyard, digital watch, binoculars and back pack, an old bluetooth earpiece. Don't forget to gel his hair, Zac is always obsessed with his hair!)
  • Alfie by Shirly Hughes (normal clothes and perhaps some yellow gumboots)
  • Diary of a Whimpy Kid  by Jeff Kinney (Greg Heffley in a white T-shirt, black shorts/jeans, school bag and perhaps holding a diary)
  • The Little Yellow Digger by Betty and Allan Gilderdale (normal clothes, builder's hat and a tool belt)
  • Harry and his Dinosaurs by Ian Whybrow (normal clothes and bucket of dinosaurs)
  • George's Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl (normal clothes but holding a brown medicine looking bottle (cardboard cutout) and a pot)
  • Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey  (underpants over regular clothes and a cape)
  • Tintin by Herge (khaki pants rolled up and a blue jumper over a white shirt. And of course hair gel!)
  • Captain Haddock from Tintin ( blue jumper, black beard and a plastic pipe from a party shop, black captains hat, black pants and boots)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate factory by Roald Dahl (regular clothes, a chocolate wrapper and a golden ticket)
  • Famous Five and Secret Seven by Enid Blighton (regular clothes)
  • Doctor Dolittle series by Hugh Lofting (Dr's coat and kit and stuffed toy animals)

  • The Baby-Sitters Club book series by Anne M. Martin
  • Violet Mackerel series by Anna Branford
  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
  • Meet Pearlie by Gabrielle Wang and others in the Our Australian Girl series
  • Anne of Green Gables  by L.M. Montgomery 
  • Dork Diaries series by Rachel Renee Russell
  • Fancy Nancy series by Jane O'Connor
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl  
  • Billie B Brown by Sally Rippin
  • EK12 by Susannah McFarlane
  • The Magic School Bus (for Mrs Frizzle wear a brightly coloured dress, print pictures of planets and stick them onto the dress, a toy for the shoulder and red curly wig)
  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (a blue dress and white pinafore, black slippers and white tights)
  • Mary Poppins (hair in a bun, long dark skirt, blouse buttoned all the way up and tied with a red ribbon, black hat with some flowers and an umbrella)
  • Dame Washalot from The Magic Faraway Tree  - (apron, washing basket)
  • Emily Eyefinger by Duncan Ball (pingpong ball with googly eye glued on and blu-tacked to finger)

Not quite a princess

  • The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch (tape together a dress and a crown out of brown paper)
  • Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole
  • The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp 
  • Paparazzi Princess by Cathy Hopkins (regular fashionable clothes and shopping bags)
  • The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale (Black tshirt, tights, cape & mask with a little tiara)

Witches and wizards

  • Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (Harry, Ron, or Hermoine in their school uniform with house scarf, and maybe a witch hat, a broomstick and a wand, and a pet owl (stuffed toy) to attach to their shoulder) 
  • Meg & Mog  by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski (witch dress, hat, black shiny shoes, toy black cat, any other Halloween props such as a black cauldron)
  • Whinnie the Witch by Valerie Thomas 
  • Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
  • The Princess & the Wizard by Julia Donaldson
  • White Witch of Narnia from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe   by C.S. Lewis (re-use an Elsa costume)

Loads more ideas

  • Mr Men and Little Miss books (a character t-shirt or make a sandwich board costume)
  • Dr Seuss book characters like Thing 1 & Thing 2 (great for twins). One member says  "Sam-I-Am" from Green Eggs and Ham. She wore a yellow t-shirt, red beanie and carried a big plate of green homemade Playdoh with a fork stuck in it.
  • Goosebumps series by R. L Stine (wrapped in bandages as a mummy, or any other Halloween costume)
  • Josephine the Dancing Kangaroo by Jacqui French (an all-in-one kangaroo costume with a tutu)
  • Paddington Bear by Michael Bond (blue Macintosh raincoat) red rain or sun hat, and a suitcase)
  • Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (bunny ears - left over from the Easter parade? - and a white shirt and blue coat)
  • Wizard of Oz - Lion, Scarecrow, tinman, Dorothy, witch, Oz.