Children’s Book Week runs from 17th to the 23rd of August, 2019, and the theme this year is ‘Reading Is My Secret Power’.

I am not sure how your school does it? Our primary school doesn’t stick to the theme at all. The kids are just encouraged to dress as their favourite book character.

So we’ve compiled some last minute Book Week costumes to get you out of a pickle.

Harry Potter

A cape, a scar, a wand, and you’re done. You could be Harry, Hermoine, or Ron. Take your pick. Maybe grab a broom and you are set!



Buy two pieces of cardboard, a bit of tape over the shoulders, to make an instant sandwich board.

You can turn it into a bookcover, or how about a character from the Mr Men series? 


Do you even need a costume?

Think about all your favourite regular kid characters – Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Andy Griffiths Tree House series, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, Spy series, Dork Diaries, Judy Moody.

book week 3

If you already have a costume

Why not raid the dress up box for a favourite costume and then head to the library to find a book that fits the theme.  Possibilities are endless.

Draw a mask

A simple mask can get you out of trouble in a flash.  Fantastic Mr Fox, BFG, Blinky Bill, Hungry Caterpillar or what about the Gruffalo? Or just simply draw a hat for Cat in the Hat!

Tea towel

Grab an old tea towel or pillow case and attach for a cape and away you go. Or use it as a head scarf and draw an eye patch for a Pirate.



Don’t even worry about getting the kids dressed – send them to school in their PJ’s as one of the many Pyjama day/party books.

pj day


Chuck on some underpants over their school trousers and you have Captain Underpants.


Don’t stress!

Ideas are endless. If you have a scarf, beanie, coat, gloves and a hat they could even dress as a scarecrow!

If the worst comes to the worst grab some everyday items from around the home and google a book that you think they may match. Voila!

It doesn’t have to be hard.

bfg bookweek bunny bookweek

Do you go all out for book week or keep it very simple?

Share your comments below

  • I am saving this post. Wish I had seen it before book week..


  • These are all wonderful ideas. My kids never had book week when they were going to school and neither did I. Need to get the kids involved in helping to make the outfits


  • How gorgeous do the kids look (-:


  • I like to keep it simple and look to the books and the clothing we have and work with that.


  • It’s a bit of fun. It’s nice to go to a little effort.


  • Keep it simple. One that won my oldest a book prize was when he told me the night before that he needed a costume and handed me the note that was meant to be given to me a few days ago. An old white, cut some eye and arm holes. Some black material to make some ears and spots plus a black jumper and we had a black spotted dog. Have also made the older two up as swaggies, with flannelette shirts, old tattered hat, some make up for the dirt on their skin. Old towels rolled up with some rope for a swag. Teacher of the 1st grader thought he had dirt on his hand but realised that it was only on the back of his hands (brown eye shadow).


  • It all depends on what my kids what to dress up as, as to wether or not we go all out.
    My daughter is going as Dorothy from wizard of oz and my son wants to wear in llama onesie which makes it easy this year, our school only does it every 2nd year too which is great.


  • Oh no, that would be a disaster to forget a costume. So glad these things weren’t massive when my kids were at school, I don’t think I would’ve coped


  • Why is this all about costumes now. It’s supposed to promote reading books.


  • My daughter has asked for hairy maclary. Oh this is going to be fun.


  • Book week dress up wasn’t a thing when my kids went to school. Parents should do get creative. I can just imagine the comparisons and judgements made by some on the costumes


  • I prefer to go all out otherwise you lose the fun in dressing up. The compromise to this is my daughter picks her character and as long as they’re from a book (not a movie that’s been turned into a book) we do it. This year she’ll be princess mononoke from the story written by Hayo Miyazaki who later turned it into film (after some adaptations). Probably our trickiest costume yet with a facemask attached to a furred Cape and brown sack shoes. Last year we ran out of time and decided to do splophie from the BFG, easiest costume ever.


  • Some great examples of costumes here team. I would love to see some of the creations other mums have made.


  • I live bookweek and I love dressing up with costumes. But my kids are only three so that will probably wear off haha. I love the cardboard idea of mr bump!!


  • We keep it very simple and do with what we have. At our local primary school they had a parade for my 8yr old and she simply went as one of the Billy Brown characters. No parade at the High schools of course, but they still had book week and could dress up.
    My 14yr old said to me “I hope they don’t ask which character I am from which book, as it’s not from a book and I can’t remember the name” hehehe


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