World Book Day Ideas (29 inspirations)

In this article we will look at the unique costumes the kids and parents come up when it’s time for World Book day.

World Book Day Costume Ideas

World Book Day is the day for the kids to show off their favorite characters and get them to love reading too.  It is also a great avenue for parents to show off their creative talents in designing and making those costumes.

On the lighter side, your kid’s costume doesn’t have to be expensive. The do-it-yourself costumes can be made from scratch. And with a little help from the face paint kit, your creativity will go a long way.

Here are 30 inspirations for your kid’s next costume:

  • Matilda

This sweet character is very easy to make. Just put your son or daughter in a blue dress, and a red ribbon in his/her hair while carrying a pile of books, and it’s done. Easy and inexpensive.

  • Gangsta Granny

Paint on a bandit eye mask with a black face paint, or granny glasses, and a “granny style” blouse. Pair it up with black skirt, old slippers, and tights that wrinkle at the legs.  Complete the costume with a granny wig and a sack-style bag with crumpled paper, and the look is done.

  • The Boy in the Dress

Put your boy in a dress, any dress. And a football, or any kind of ball. That’s all.

  • Tintin

All it needs is a blue jumper, and the famous quiff with the hair gel in place. And better if you can find a white stuffed dog for Snowey.

What you’ll need, a blue dress, white apron and a hair bow. And the little skip of Alice, your kid’s done. 

  • Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Take out that scruffy clothes and a handmade golden ticket, or even simpler, just a bar of chocolate. 

  • Angelina Ballerina

If being a ballerina is the thing of your little girl, for sure she would already have a tutu and a pink leotard. Just add a pink bow and pink ears. Or simply cut out some ears from a piece of cardboard and tape them to a hairband.  You’ve not got the cutest ballerina mouse.

  • Where’s Wally?

A red and white striped shirt will be perfectly handy for this costume. It’s high time to take it out of the closet and let your kid parade with that simple, no expense costume. You can also use a red tape over a white shirt or a white tape across a red shirt. 

Pair it up with black round-rimmed glasses and a bobble hat, and you’ll have Wally.

Who would not know Harry Potter? The supermarket aisles will be filled with cape costumes during Halloween fitting for this role. Just put some round glasses and face paint on the scar on his forehead. 

A white shirt over normal school trousers, and a drumstick as a magic wand will work wonders with this costume.

A broom can be used as props as well for the pseudo Quidditch match, and you’ve got yourself a Harry.

  • Captain Underpants

This one would need a big Y-fronts, a red cape and a very brave boy to pull this one off. He could alternatively put the pants over his trouser for the shy boy type.

  • Mr. Greedy

Another great idea from the Mr Men classics, all you need is an oversized pink jumper. Fill it with a cushion and belt to keep it in, and you have an instant costume to parade your kid with.

  • 101 Dalmatians

An easy one using a white shirt and draw some black spots all over it. If you have a black face paint, you can put that doggy nose over your kids’ nose and some dog ears from a cardboard box.

  • One of the Three Little Pigs

For the pig’s snout, a takeaway plastic cup painted all over in pink over the nose. Add two circles for the nostrils. Place it securely on your child’s head using elastics over the two holes on either side of the cup. 

Make pink ears using cardboard boxes or pink cards, dress the kid in pink and some dungarees and black shoes, and the cute little pig can go trotting.

  • George from George’s Marvellous Medicine

This is perfect if you have a boy named George, if not you can put a name tag as “George” on him.  Let him bring a big saucepan labeled “marvellous medicine” and a wooden spoon.

Up the notch by putting some dry ice on the saucepan for that tricky smoke effect. 

  • Queen of Hearts

This is a fun costume idea if you allow your kid to bring the pack of cards to school. All your child needs is a black shirt and skirt, with cut out red paper heart cards and stick them together with a tape. 

Tie your child’s hair in a bun and tie the card crown around the bun.

  • Pinocchio

Dress your kid in a yellow collared tshirt and a red top. Add a brown straw hat with a red paper feather sticking out on the side.  You can also add a blue ribbon around the collar.

For the nose, make a cone paper cutout and stick it with elastics as your child’s nose. 

  • Amber Brown is not a Crayon

This is a classic and ideal for kids with long brown / red hair. All you need is a long loose white shirt, black leggings, trainers, scrunchies for side bunches, and a big bundle of crayon.

  • Billionaire Boy

This story teaches kids that money is not about everything, a good moral for the kids nowadays. The billionaire boy is Joe, and his outfits include grey trousers, big white top, a wallet full of money. You can make fake notes using paper or use monopoly money. 

And don’t forget the messy hair to complete the look.

  • Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist, the star of the Dickens novel and one of the best musicals there is! Just a simple, easy to find costume. A hat and a waistcoat needed to transform to this iconic figure of a Victorian scruffy street lad. Easy for the World Book Day idea.

  • The Tiger who Came to Tea

This costume is easy to find and very comfy for your child to wear. The one who appears unannounced in a party and finishes off all the food and drinks on the table, no other than Judith Kerr’s classic star, which happens to be a tiger.

  • Little Red Riding Hood

Not only is this popular, but for sure easy to find and make. All you need is a red cloak and a basket of goodies. Better yet if the costume is ready made.  Nothing beats the classic little red riding hood and you’re all set for World Book Day.

  • Goldilocks

Here’s a World Book Day find that you can’t resist. Did you know that the original story of The Three Bears features a grumpy old lady instead of Goldilocks?  But this version is what we prefer, the pretty little one especially in choosing for a World Book Day costume.

  • Sherlock Holmes

While the Sherlock Holmes series is more popular to older kids, his frequent appearances in films and TV shows has easily made him known to the younger ones. The quirky detective costume is also easy to find and make for the World Book Day costume.

  • The Cat in the Hat

World Book Day wouldn’t be complete without inviting Dr. Seuss to the party. The popular  star of The Cat in the Hat is the most fun costume to wear for your child. You can make your own hat too.

  • Peter Pan

Peter Pan is such an iconic character and his story is still popular over a century later.  Another World Book Day idea for your child which is easy to find and make. And a sure hit popular one in school. Everyone will know who the boy who wouldn’t grow up.

  • Captain Hook

Certainly, one of the country’s favourite pantomime villains, but a World Book Day has given Captain Hook  a chance to shine. Who couldn’t resist his distinctive hooked hand, and a pirate’s costume would give away your child’s costume instantly.

  • Tick-tock The Crocodile

While we’re on the fantasy fairytale Peter Pan, another interesting character came to life. Another World Book Day idea, is the hungry reptile that keeps on following Captain Hook and scares him off in the funniest way.  After Peter Pan cuts off Captain Hook’s hand and feeds it to this reptile, his presence is a sure fire hit on a World Book Day.

Of course, the reptile announces his presence with the sound of a ticking clock, but  you could probably do away without it though.

  • Dorothy

Another iconic character of the Wizard of Oz that has been famous for over a century ago is Dorothy and her traveling companions. A great fancy way to dress up for World Book Day. 

  • The Scarecrow

The scarecrow is another character that could work for the World Book Day. It might be missing a brain, but his costume is anything but a short straw.

  • The Tin Man

Another lovable companion of Dorothy that will surely look adorable on your already adorable kid. Some cardboard cutouts with shiny silver paper or aluminum foil will do wonders with this costume.


There are several costumes for World Book Day that can work wonders for your child at school. May it be store-bought or your own creative do-it-yourself costume will look amazing on your child if done with careful planning and much love.

FAQ on World Book Ideas “(30 inspirations for the next one)”:

What was the World Book Day theme of 2020?

World Book Day 2020 was on March 5, with the year’s theme of “to share a million stories”.

What do schools do on World Book Day?

There are many ways schools celebrate World Book Day. Many schools make it a special event by visiting a local library, classroom displays of famous literary characters or a book-themed activities for the kids at school.

Do secondary schools do World Book Day?

Many secondary schools don’t do World Book Day anymore as it is mostly for the young. But teenagers still love putting up costumes for other school activities that call up to it.

How to celebrate World Book Day at home?

You can still dress up as your favorite character while reading your favorite book at home.  You can also start a book club or host one at home for your family and friends.

How many World Book Days are there?

There are over 100 countries celebrating World Book Day.


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