What better way to get your students interested in reading than to dress as their favorite book character? With so many beloved book series like Pete the Cat, Dog Man, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Junie B. Jones, and Berenstain Bears, there is no shortage of book character costume ideas.

Feeling really creative? Try bringing an inanimate object or concept to life as with the famous title Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. There are classic choices like Shakespeare or Mary Poppins as well as newer, more edgy options like David from the No! David book or Camilla Cream from A Bad Case of Stripes. Feeling nostalgic? Dress up as Corduroy or the American Girl Molly McIntire. Whether dressing up for Literacy Week or Halloween, you can’t go wrong with one of the many awesome options from our list below!


1. American Girl: Molly

Book character costume ideaslike this one shows a woman is wearing a black beret, a red and black argyle cardigan, a navy skirt, white ankle socks, and black mary janes.

Molly McIntire was one of the original American Girls from the beloved series that includes books, dolls, and other merchandise. This costume offers the perfect excuse to introduce your students to our favorite American Girl while also teaching about life in the States during World War II. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: Sincerely Molly

2. Corduroy

Book character costume ideaslike this one shows a woman wearing green corduroy jumper and teddy bear ears, carrying a matching teddy bear (Book Character Costume Ideas)

This cute and cuddly book character costume is really easy to pull together. Match a green corduroy jumper with a brown shirt, then don a pair of teddy bear ears, and you’re good to go. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @jess.and.cece_thefrenchie

3. Junie B. Jones

Book character costume ideaslike this one shows a teacher and a little girl are wearing matching outfits that include a hot pink cardigan, purple skirts, and rainbow knee highs.

Everyone’s favorite mischievous kindergartner Junie B. Jones (don’t forget the B!) makes for an adorable costume for kids and adults alike. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: Pinterest/Holli Watkins

4. Captain Underpants

Book character costume ideaslike this one shows a woman in a black bodysuit with large pair of underpants, red cape, and Captain Underpants logo (Book Character Costume Ideas)

Some book character costume ideas, like this one, are sure to crack up your students! All you’ll really need in addition to some black leggings and a black shirt is a superhero cape and (of course) some undies! Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @littleapplelearning

5. Berenstain Bears

Book character costume ideas like this one shows a family that is dressed up, the father is wearing overalls and a yellow shirt, the mother is wearing a blue and white polka dot dress, the daughter is in pink overalls, and the little boy is in jeans and a red shirt.

Teachers and students have grown up with the Berenstain Bears and will equally enjoy this fun costume. With a book for every life lesson, this classic children’s series is a go-to in libraries and classrooms across the country. An added bonus? You can trade in your heels or flats for some comfy bear paw slippers! Here’s how to get the look:

Image: Instead of the Dishes

6. Amelia Bedelia

Book character costume ideas like this one shows a woman wearing black dress, white apron, black hat with daisies, and carrying a feather duster (Book Character Costume Ideas)

Here’s another easy book character costume you can put together in a snap. Add a ruffled bib apron to a black dress, glue some dollar-store daisies to a black hat, and bring along your fanciest feather duster. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @cma1291

7. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Book character costume ideas like this one shows a woman in blue overalls and mouse ears holding a large paper cookie and reading a book (Book Character Costume Ideas)

If you’ve got some denim overalls, you’ve got most of what you need for this If You Give a Mouse a Cookie costume. Make or buy a pair of mouse ears and a giant cookie, then paint whiskers and a pink nose on your face (or face mask). Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @blushlovepeony

8. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Book character costume ideas like this one shows a woman wearing a green tutu and white shirt covered with pictures of food (Book Character Costume Ideas)

If you love The Very Hungry Caterpillar, you’ll want to give this costume idea a try. Buy a green tutu, then use fabric markers or paint to cover a T-shirt with fruit and other foods. Yum! Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @thebeachclassroom

9. William Shakespeare

Man dressed as William Shakespeare holding a skull (Book Character Costume Ideas)

There are plenty of book character costume ideas to steal from Shakespeare, but why not dress as the Bard himself? Grab the costume set and add a skull for good measure. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: Amazon

10. Pippi Longstocking

Book character costume ideas like this one shows a woman dressed as Pippi Longstocking. She has one a blue overall style dress, knee socks, and the signature red braided wig and the braids are sticking out on edge.

Pippi Longstocking is a quick and fun costume. Find a cute peasant dress you like, add a crazy braided red wig and some freckles, and don’t forget your pet monkey! Here’s how to get the look:

Image: Snog the Frog

11. Max from Where the Wild Things Are

Book character costume ideas like this one shows a woman dressed as Max from Where The Wild Things Are

Finally, an excuse to buy that grown-up onesie you’ve been craving! Grab an adjustable furry crown to complete your costume. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @kblovestoread

12. No, David!

A teacher has on red pants, a white and blue stripe shirt, and a mask with a face on it that is supposed to look like the David character from the book.

This is such a fun costume that can be as simple or as complicated as you feel like making it. Feeling crafty? Make a papier-mâché mask like this one. Short on time? Grab some poster board and a Popsicle stick and make a rudimentary mask to complement David’s signature blue-and-white striped shirt and red pants. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: Pinterest/Victoria

13. Fancy Nancy

Two Women are pictured wearing a white and a pink tutu. Both have hot pink feather boas. One is holding a rainbow duster and wearing a pink crown.

Fancy Nancy is just ripe with costume opportunities. You really can’t go wrong with any number of accessories, but be sure to include her signature feather duster! Here’s how to get the look:

Image: Twitter/Fiona Hickey

14. Coraline

Woman wearing blue wig, yellow raincoat and yellow rainboots holding a copy of the book Coraline

Slip through the secret door with a cute Coraline costume. Be sure to include the signature blue wig and yellow rain boots! Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @abooklikeyou

15. Viola Swamp

Woman wearing black dress, yellow and black striped stockings, and long fake nose (Book Character Costume Ideas)

Miss Nelson is missing! Maybe Viola Swamp (i.e., you!) knows where she is! Put on some black-and-yellow striped stockings and a long witch nose to see if you can find out. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @secondgrade.shenanigans

16. Olivia

Woman wearing red dress, black and white stockings, and pig nose and ears standing next to the book character Olivia

Speaking of striped stockings, how adorable is this Olivia costume? We found the striped tights and pig accessories—you supply your favorite red dress. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @fernaunder

17. Diary of a Wimpy Kid

A person wearing a white shirt, black shorts, and white leggings is standing. They also have a cut out of a simply drawn face like the one the character in Diary of a Wimpy Kid has.

The laugh-out-loud series Diary of a Wimpy Kid will make for a costume that will definitely win your students’ approval. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: Pinterest/Ged Hartshorn

18. Pete the Cat

A woman is shown holding a Pete the Cat book. She is wearing a yellow button up shirt and signature red sneakers. She is wearing a pete the cat headpiece.

Who says your favorite character has to be a person? Bring Pete the Cat to life with a pieced-together costume like Meghann of Coloring in Cardigans, or buy a premade costume like the one listed below. Either way, here’s how to get the look:

Image: Coloring in Cardigans

19. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Woman wearing palm leaves on her head and covered in alphabet letters, carrying the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

This has to be one of the most clever book character costumes we’ve ever seen! Want to make your own? Dress in brown, then add some large felt alphabet letters and a cute palm tree headband. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @justalittlelibrarian

20. Hester Prynne

Woman wearing puritan collar and bonnet with a large scarlet letter A on her sweater (Book Character Costume Ideas)

The Scarlet Letter A will help your high school students identify this book character costume in a flash. Purchase a bonnet, collar, cuffs, and apron set to add to your own black dress. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @sarafloss

21. Dog Man

Book character costume ideas like this one shows a teacher wearing a blue hat with a yellow crown on it and dog ears as well as a blue sweatshirt with a yellow crown on it. The teacher's nose is painted black and he's holding the book Dog Man.

If you’re an upper-elementary school teacher, you should try this easy-to-re-create look. Turn a simple blue sweatshirt and hat into Dog Man’s signature uniform by cutting out the yellow crown and attach it with some adhesive Badge Magic. Finally, add some cute dog ears and paint your nose black! Here’s how to get the look:

Image: Instagram/Bryce Sizemore

22. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

A woman is wearing a white lab coat and holding a clear umbrella that has a cloud coming out of it. There are meatballs and other food items hanging from the umbrella.

What’s the weather forecast today? How about Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs? You can buy an umbrella and lab coat, but you’ll likely have to make your own clouds and meatballs. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: Pinterest/Sally Judd

23. Mary Poppins

A woman is dressed as Mary Poppins in all black with a tall black hat, white button up shirt, and umbrella.

Most kids know Mary Poppins from the popular movies, but she was a book character first! By a complete costume set or piece it together with items you might already own like Laura of Luv My Kinders. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @inspiredwithmrsd

24. The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Woman with pictures of fly, spider, bird, and more pinned to her stomach

We got a real chuckle out this clever costume idea! Print and pin a spider, fly, cat, and more to your stomach, slip on an old lady wig, and you’re done! Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @cre8ivesky

25. Camilla Cream

Woman with her face painted in colorful stripes and a thermometer in her mouth, holding A Bad Case of Stripes

Uh-oh, looks like someone has A Bad Case of the Stripes! You can have one too with either some face paint or a rainbow mask. Here’s how to get the look:

Image: @peaceloveteach4th

Looking for more inspiration? Check out these 34 Times Teachers Dressed Up for Class and Impressed Us All.

Plus, come share your book character costume ideas on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

25 Amazing Book Character Costume Ideas for Teachers