Book Character Costumes

Lots of schools and children's book clubs host events that require the pupils of book club members to attend wearing a book character costume. Although this is a really good idea that gets children excited about characters from their favourite children's books, and talking about children's books, it puts a lot of pressure on the parents of those children, as it is often their responsibility to devise, purchase or make the book character costume for the fancy dress or costume party.

In an attempt to provide you with some children's book character fancy dress costume ideas, here are my thoughts about some fancy dress outfits that would work well.

Starting with picture books and books for younger children, there are many fancy dress ideas that come to mind immediately. I have seeen lots of very successful Mr Men costumes. The Mr Man books all feature colourful characters and form really striking outfits. In particular, Mr Happy costumes and Mr Bump costumes work well, but any Mr Men fancy dress costume would look fantastic. Mr Men costumes can be purchased online or hired from your local fancy dress store. They would probabaly be quite difficult to construct at home because they are a suit and can't really be constructed by combining fancy dress accessories.

The other picture book that springs to mind is Where the Wild Things Are. This book by Maurice Sendak could inspire several book character costumes. The main character, Max, wears a white rabbit suit and would be a great fancy dress costume. However, it is the Wild Things that would be the most impressive children's book characters to recreate in fancy dress. It is possible to find Where the Wild Things Are costumes on the net, and as with the Mr Men costumes, Wild Things costumes are probably best purchased or hired rather than made.

Other book character costumes ideas (from picture books or from books for younger readers include): Percy the Park Keeper costume (from the Nick Butterworth books), Meg and Mog costumes (from the books by Jan Pienkowski), Dr Seuss inspired outfits (such as Cat in the Hat costumes, Grinch costumes) and outfits based on Beatrix Potter characters (such as a Peter Rabbit costume).

Another good source of ideas for costumes for younger children is to use characters from fairy tales. Snow White costumes, Goldilocks costumes, Little Red Riding Hood costumes, Three Little Pigs costumes and Cinderella costumes would all make fantastic children's fancy dress costumes. Most of these fancy dress outfits could be purchased, but with a little bit of creativity, all of the fairy tale fancy dress costumes could be made at home.

For slightly older children, the range of book character fancy dress costumes increases, and each book you can think of usually includes several characters that would be a good subject for a book day costume. Several books stand out. Due to their massive popularity, the Harry Potter books are great sources of ideas for fancy dress costumes because everyone is familiar with the characters (either through the books or the movies). If you wear a Harry Potter costume, you will not have to tell anyone who you are meant to be. Beyond Harry himself, also consider Hagrid costumes, Dumbledore costumes, Ron Weasley costumes, Hermione costumes, Severus Snape costumes, Draco Malfoy get the idea!

Roald Dahl has invented some fantastic characters, and they often make a great subject upon which to base a book character fancy dress costume. Willy Wonka costumes, Charlie Bucket costumes, Fantastic Mr Fox costumes and the BFG costumes would all work well, as would a Twits costume or a James and the Giant Peach costume.

Any of the Wind in the Willows characters make great book character costumes. I've seen a very effective, but simple Mr Toad costume, and the Ratty, Mole and Badger outfits could also be simplified to make it possible to make, rather than buy , these outfits.

For older children. book characters costumes take a bit more thought. Fancy dress costumes based on characters from the books of Tolkien often work well. I've seen very impressive Gandalf costumes, Legolas costumes, Gimli costumes, Thorin costumes, Aragorn costumes and Galadriel costumes. These costumes are quite easy to put together at home.

How about going with a character from the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer. An Edward Cullen costume would be quite easy to put together and it would certainly be of the moment.

As you can see, there are lots of ideas for book character costumes for kids. These are only a few suggestions. If you think about it in advance of the fancy dress party or book day, you will be able to find a fancy dress costume that suits your available budget, or the time you have to make a book character costume.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the great advice! My daughter is in kindergarten and they are having a book character costume day tomorrow. I have had a horrible time coming up with ideas for costumes and this really helped a lot. She will be going as the little red riding hood.

Sincerely, Jennifer Terrell
(mother of three)