45 Amazing Book Character Costume Ideas for Teachers

Walk out of the pages and into the classroom!

Teachers dressed in Halloween book character costumes such as the mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Camilla Cream from A Case of the Stripes.
We Are Teachers; @blushlovepeony/Instagram; @peaceloveteach/Instagram

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

A woman is wearing a black beret, a red and black argyle cardigan, a navy skirt, white ankle socks, and black mary janes.
Sincerely Molly/Molly McIntire The American Girl Doll Costume via sincereleymolly.com

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:

Learn more: Molly McIntire The American Girl Doll Costume at Sincerely Molly

2. Corduroy

Woman wearing green corduroy jumper and teddy bear ears, carrying a matching teddy bear (Book Character Costume Ideas)
@jesspurdham/Corduroy via Instagram

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:

3. Junie B. Jones

A teacher and a little girl are wearing matching outfits that include a hot pink cardigan, purple skirts, and rainbow knee highs.
Holli Watkins/Junie B. Jones via Pinterest

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:

4. Captain Underpants

Woman in a black bodysuit with large pair of underpants, red cape, and Captain Underpants logo (Book Character Costume Ideas)
@littleapplelearning/Captain Underpants via Instagram

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:

5. Berenstain Bears

A family 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.
Instead of the Dishes/Happy Halloween via insteadofthedishes.com

Teachers and students have grown up with the Berenstain Bears and both will 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:

6. Amelia Bedelia

Woman wearing black dress, white apron, black hat with daisies, and carrying a feather duster (Book Character Costume Ideas)
@cma1291/Amelia Bedelia via Instagram

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:

7. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Woman in blue overalls and mouse ears holding a large paper cookie and reading a book (Book Character Costume Ideas)
@blushlovepeony/If You Give a Mouse a Cookie via Instagram

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:

8. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Woman wearing a green tutu and white shirt covered with pictures of food (Book Character Costume Ideas)
@thebeachclassroom/The Very Hungry Caterpillar via Instagram

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:

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:

10. Pippi Longstocking

book character costume
Parties Costume/Pippi Longstocking via partiescostume.com

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:

11. Max from Where the Wild Things Are

Woman dressed as Max from Where The Wild Things Are
@kblovestoread/Where the Wild Things Are via Instagram

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:

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.
Victoria/No David via Pinterest

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:

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.- book character costume
@thefionahickey/Fancy Nancy via Twitter

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:

14. Coraline

A woman stands in yellow rainboots, a yellow trenchcoat, and a blue wig, holding a key necklace.
@abooklikeyou/Coraline via Instagram

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:

15. Viola Swamp

Woman wearing black dress, yellow and black striped stockings, and long fake nose (Book Character Costume Ideas)
@secondgrade.shenanigans/Viola Swamp via Instagram

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:

16. Olivia

Woman wearing red dress, black and white stockings, and pig nose and ears standing next to the book character Olivia- book character costume
@fernaunders/Olivia the Pig via Instagram

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:

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.
Ged Hartsorn/Diary of a Wimpy Kid via Pinterest

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:

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.
Coloring in Cardigans/Pete the Cat via coloringincardigans.com

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:

19. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Woman wearing palm leaves on her head and covered in alphabet letters, carrying the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom- book character costume
@justalittlelibrarian/Chicka Chicka Boom Boom via Instagram

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:

20. Hester Prynne

Woman wearing puritan collar and bonnet with a large scarlet letter A on her sweater (Book Character Costume Ideas)
@sarahfloss/Hester Prynne via Instagram

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:

21. Dog Man

A teacher wears 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.- book character costume
@theteachingtexan/Dog Man via Instagram

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:

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.
Sally Judd/Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs via Pinterest

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:

23. Mary Poppins

A woman is dressed as Mary Poppins in all black with a tall black hat, white button up shirt, and umbrella.- book character costume
@inspiredwithmrsd/Mary Poppins via Instagram

Most kids know Mary Poppins from the popular movies, but she was a book character first! Buy 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:

24. The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Woman with pictures of fly,
@cre8ivesky/The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly via Instagram

We got a real chuckle out of 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:

25. Camilla Cream

Woman with her face painted in colorful stripes and a thermometer in her mouth, holding A Bad Case of Stripes- book character costume
@peaceloveteach/A Bad Case of Stripes via Instagram

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

26. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

A sign reads Don't let the pigeon drive the bus. a man is wearing blue and standing behind a cutout of a bus. A child is also dressed in blue and holding a pigeon head cut out.
The House That Lars Built/Don’t Let the Pigeon via thehousethatlarsbuilt.com

The beloved series from Mo Willems starring the pigeon is perfect for a book character costume. We especially love that it works equally well for kids or adults! Here’s how to get it:

Learn more: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! at The House That Lars Built

27. Piggy and Elephant

A woman dressed up as a pig and another woman dressed up as an elephant are shown.- book character costume
Stacy Bernstein/Piggy and Elephant via Pinterest

More beloved Mo Willems characters because they truly are the best. Regardless of whether you are a Piggy or a Gerald, this costume will be sure to wow! Here’s how to get the look:

28. Narwhal and Jelly

Two women are shown one dressed as a narwhal and the other as a jellyfish. They are holding waffles.
Julie Barbash/Narwhal and Jelly via Twitter

The adventures of Narwhal and Jelly are so delightful, and these adorable, waffle-loving characters make for the perfect costume. Here’s how to get the look:

29. The Giving Tree

book character costume
Teaching and Much Moore/Halloween Book Costume via teachingandmuchmoore.com

Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree is a classic book that also makes for an adorable costume idea. Here’s how to get the look:

30. Peter Rabbit

A woman is shown wearing bunny ears, holding a carrot, with bunny face paint and dressed in blue.
Stacie Stine/Peter Rabbit via staciestine.com

Peter Rabbit may just be the most famous of all Beatrix Potter characters, and we think he makes for an especially cute costume idea. Regardless of whether you want to simplify with just bunny ears and face paint or go all out with a bunny costume, we think your students will love it. Here’s how to get the look:

31. Mr. McGregor’s Garden

A man in a suit has a white picket fence hanging off of him and vegetables.- book character costume
Stacie Stine/Mr. McGregor’s Garden via staciestine.com

You can’t have Peter Rabbit without Mr. McGregor’s garden! Regardless of whether you want to use fake or real veggies, this costume is relatively simple to piece together.

32. Madeline

Two women are seen wearing matching outfits. They are wearing yellow hats, navy dresses, red neckerchiefs, and blue capes.
My Life in Austin/Madeline via mylifeinaustin.com

Madeline, the Parisian schoolgirl at the heart of the book series, wears a distinctive outfit that works so well as a costume. You can DIY the pieces, but buying them premade works well too!

33. Laura Ingalls Wilder

A woman is wearing a full coverage blue dress with a white apron over it. She is also wearing a bonnet.- book character costume

The Little House on the Prairie book series is based on the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who came of age during the late 1800s. If your students are fans of the books, then this is the perfect costume for you!

34. Little Red Riding Hood

A woman is seen in a red dress with a red cape carrying a basket.

Little Red Riding Hood is a classic fairy tale that most kids are familiar with, so we think they would get a kick out of seeing their teacher dressed up as her. The best part is that there are plenty of costumes to pick from if you are short on time.

35. Charlotte’s Web

A family is shown dressed as a spider web, pig, spider, and a woman in overalls and a flannel.- book character costume
Living E Town/Halloween Costumes Roundup via @livingetown.com

While Charlotte’s Web makes for the perfect family costume, it works well individually as well. We especially love how simple it is to re-create Fern’s look with overalls, a flannel shirt, and a stuffed pig.

36. Spookley the Square Pumpkin

A woman is seen wearing an orange box around her that has a face on it and is meant to look like a pumpkin.
Adam Midock/Spookley via Twitter

Spookley the Square Pumpkin is such a sweet tale about acceptance and it makes an adorable costume too. We especially love that you need little more than some felt sheets and a large box to make it a reality.

37. Peppa Pig

A woman is seen in a pig costume that includes a red dress.- book character costume

Peppa Pig is a beloved children’s character at the heart of many books and even a popular TV show. We love that this costume is very simple to pull together while also being affordable.

38. The Couch Potato

A gray tshirt has a picture of a potato wearing sunglasses on it and says This is my Human Costume. I'm really a potato.

The Couch Potato has become a new classic in the short time since it has been published. While you could go the route of a full potato costume, we think this shirt will be sure to get big laughs. Wear it the day you introduce this book to your class.

39. Pig the Pug

Five teachers are shown wearing pug masks and holding different Pig the Pug books.
Spearwood Primary School/Pig the Pug via spearwoodps.wa.edu.au/

The Pig the Pug series is laugh-out-loud funny and works equally well for an individual or group book character costume.

40. Bravo, Avocado

A person is wearing an avocado onesie.- book character costume

This book teaches kids all about finding their talents while developing self-confidence. The sweet message is enough on its own—dressing as an avocado while reading it will really be the cherry on top.

41. Where’s Waldo

A family is shown dressed in red and white striped hats and shirts.
By Amber’s Hands/Where’s Waldo via byambershands.com

Everyone loves searching for Waldo, and your students will love “spotting” you in this costume.

42. Ramona Quimby

A woman is seen wearing a black skirt and jacket and a black, red, and white striped shirt. She is also wearing sunglasses and has a short bob haircut with bangs.
New Girl/Ramona Quimby via Pinterest

Generations of kids have read and fell in love with Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books. Take a page out of Jess from New Girl‘s book and dress as Ramona during your school’s book week!

43. American Girl Doll

A girl is standing inside a pink and white box with her head showing through a cut-out. The American Girl logo is on the box.
Coolest Homemade Costumes/Original American Girl Doll Julie via www.coolest-homemade-costumes.com

If you have students in your class who are really into the American Girl series, then this is the perfect book character costume for you. We especially love that you can change it out to be whichever girl you happen to be learning about. This costume (and these books) make learning history fun. Be forewarned though: This one will require a lot of creativity and craftiness.

Learn more: Coolest Homemade Costumes

44. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile

A woman is seen wearing a crocodile onesie.-book character costume

Everyone’s favorite New York City resident, Lyle the Crocodile makes for an adorable book character costume. Bonus: You’ll be super-comfortable all day!

45. No One Likes a Fart

A cloud shape is cut out with a smiley face drawn on it and hung over someone's neck. The book No One Likes a Fart is also shown.
Rainbow Sky Home/No One Likes a Fart via rainbowskycreations.com

What’s a surefire way to get young kids to laugh? Read a book about farts, and even better, dress like one!

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

Come share your book character costume ideas on the We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Inspire the next generation of readers with a clever book character costume! From Captain Underpants to William Shakespeare, they're all here.