I am a Book Week tragic from way back. As a child I have vivid memories of planning my Book Week costumes with my teacher librarian mum (TL mum and daughter…apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!), my favourite being the year my sister and I went as gumnut babies from the iconic May Gibbs books. I know some people dread the planning of the Book Week costumes, but this is one school dress up event that I rather love.
I always let the girls choose their own Book Week characters – within reason – I’m not doing a dragon costume anytime soon. Mostly they have chosen to be characters who look a little like them, and you will often find this is the case. Books which reflect your own life and are often the ones you connect with and this is a bonus when we’re talking Book Week costumes.
For 2018 the Book Week theme is ‘Find Your Treasure’ so if you want to go less book character and more ‘on-theme’ there is obviously lots of room there for book explorers, book pirates and book detectives. If you want to combine detective and book character you could go with Truly Tan (see here for our spy kit), Friday Barnes, Quinn from ‘The Mapmaker Chronicles’ or Sherlock Holmes. For more pirate costume ideas see here.
This year PudStar is going as one of the characters from the ‘Our Australian Girl’ series and we’ve got a costume from this section of Costume Box because in my expereine I end up spending more when I piece it all together myself!
You’ve pretty much got two options with Book Week and we alternate between them; buy a ready made costume and add accessories or do-it-yourself with things you have at home or running around to fifty-million shops finding things (been there done that). The costumes below are a mix of our own and some from Costume Box, because their service is super fast and where Book Week costume panic is concerned, super-fast is good.
Last year she was Pippa from ‘Pippa’s Island’ and this was so fun – had a shirt made locally with her favourite quote on from the book on it, some ‘motifs’ from the book stuck in her bun; muffins, book cover, tropical flowers and she carried the book (of course!).
The Small One is going an Egyptian queen (of course she’s a queen!) from her favourite book about amazing women in history. This costume is also from the Historical Costumes section at Costume Box. Last year she was Annabelle from ‘Piccolo and Annabelle’ and she is pictured below with our lovely Rachel, who was Kumiko from ‘Kumiko and the Dragon’
One of my favourite (and easiest) costumes ever for Pud was the main character (unamed) from ‘The Terrible Suitcase’, and she had a ball making the suitcase. It was this year that I also came up with making a ‘book cover lanyard’ to identify who she was, and I’ve done this ever since.
Prue Theroux The Cool Librarian was a personal favourite, with all her arms made from stuffed sleeves she was a bit gorgeous and totally summed up the role of the librarian!Harry Potter Costumes are perennial favourites and Pud made a gorgeous Hermoine.
The Small One has had a number of dinosaur themed costumes, in the one below she is ‘Edwina the Dinosaur’ (see here for her Dinosaur party).I thought myself particularity witty the year I made The Wild One a ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ dress and she carried the book – technically nan made the dress, but that’s a minor detail!Alice in Wonderland is always a good theme and every year I love to line up a Queen of Hearts, an Alice and a cast of characters from this classic. Alice in Wonderland Party is here.
Likewise, Wizard of Oz Costumes, continues to be a favourite and honestly, books like these are classics for a reason.
The students at school have been ‘Mechanica’ and ‘Aquatica’ mad since these books were first released, see my review of ‘Mechanica’ here. We made some really spectacular mechanical butterfly wings based on Lance Balchin’s drawings, which formed the basis for Pud’s mechanical butterfly costume. Great one for those interested in mechanics, making and tinkering.
‘Ruby Red Shoes’ (see my review here) needs no introduction and the costume is always a winner. These Roald Dahl Costumes are 100% better than the Golden Ticket outfit I created for myself back in the late 90s (don’t ask). Was quite tempted by these ones.
I’m really, really impressed with these David Walliams Costumes and several students at school had these last year. David Walliams is the modern day Roald Dahl and I really do highly recommend these ones – good for tweens who may not be keen to dress up!
We’ve done Cat in the Hat a few time now, and to be honest this year I was tempted to just wear my very ‘Cat in the Hat’ Ruby Olive earrings and call that my costume! Ha! There are a pleathora of Dr Seuss Costumes.
Where’s Wally – again, at least five every year at the Book Week Parade and I love them! Good one for staff. Where’s Wally Costumes below.
When PudStar went through a Bollywood stage (her party is here), we read a lot of books set in India and any cultural costumes are always a winner at Book Week.
Her love of Frida is well documented and it’s a really easy costume with plenty of books to go with it! Lots of ideas in my posts about Pud’s Frida room.
The Chronicles of Narnia will always is a classic and one year when I was at West Moreton Anglican College, all the staff came as characters from this series and it was a great whole staff theme.
Pud had to dress as her favourite author at some stage for school and it was Jackie French all the way. She took a wooden wombat, chose a dress covered in flowers and filled her hair with fresh flowers. Jackie French is an avid gardener – hence all the flowers!
Peter Pan Costumes – the fascination with Neverland continues. Tinkerbell is still a favourite despite the many other fairies on the scene these days!
Violet Mackerel for kindy – we made some of the wrist warmers from the ‘Make Small Things With Violet Mackerel’ book and she made a gorgeous Violet Mackerel.
From mermaids to Nemo, sharks and even seaweed, there are plenty of Under the Sea Costumes to suit whichever watery tale you may choose.
Peter Rabbit, Za-za the Zebra, the penguin from ‘Lost and Found’ – an Animal Costume gives you so many choices and with a few finishing touches, you can easily bring a specific character to life.
Perhaps this one is slightly more for Mum or Dad but who could resist a mini version of their favourite Lord of the Rings character?
Space is always a fun theme with plenty of options – and Star Wars is usually front and centre of course!
So many characters to choose from the Goosebumps Series, loads of which are covered in the collection below.
And if none of these themes are working for you, you can browse all Girls’ Book Week Costumes here.