Book characters

45 Amazing Book Character Costume Ideas for Teachers

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:

What are the characters called in a book

In English, we have words for the characters in something/the people acting something. An example would be “The cast of the film was very talented.” Would it be right to say “The cast of the book was. “, or would this be incorrect as the characters in a novel are fictional?

1,243 3 3 gold badges 12 12 silver badges 13 13 bronze badges

Cast (of characters) refers to actors in a movie or show.

“Cast of characters” is often used metaphorically to refer to a group of (probably strange) people, whether in real life or fiction. Whether it works for your case is hard to say.

1 Answer 1

The term “cast”, meaning actors, is reserved for the theatre and is not used for characters in a book. In a quick search I was unable to find a collective noun for book characters, so the best option is probably to say “The characters in the book were … (richly drawn / absurd / poorly developed / etc)”.

3,157 8 8 gold badges 23 23 silver badges 35 35 bronze badges

Hot Network Questions

Subscribe to RSS

To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader.

Site design / logo © 2023 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under CC BY-SA . rev 2023.11.8.658

By clicking “Accept all cookies”, you agree Stack Exchange can store cookies on your device and disclose information in accordance with our Cookie Policy.

45 Amazing Book Character Costume Ideas for Teachers

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.

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.

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:

  • Round Costume Glasses, under $10 at Amazon
  • Argyle Sweater, under $30 at Amazon
  • Blue Skirt, under $40 at Amazon
  • Blue Beret, under $15 at Amazon
  • Ruffle Ankle Socks, under $15 at Amazon
  • White Peter Pan Collar Blouse, under $30 at Amazon
  • Black Mary Jane Shoes, under $35 at Amazon

2. Corduroy

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:

  • Corduroy Jumper, under $25 at Amazon
  • Teddy Bear Ears, under $10 at Amazon

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.

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:

  • Pink Cardigan, under $25 at Amazon
  • Purple Skort, under $30 at Amazon
  • Rainbow Leggings, under $20 at Amazon
  • Brown Bob Wig, under $20 at Amazon
  • Pink Bow Headband, under $10 at Amazon

4. Captain Underpants

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:

  • Superhero Cape, under $10 at Amazon
  • Black Bodysuit, under $30 at Amazon

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.

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:

  • Men’s Overalls, under $40 at Amazon
  • Yellow Button-Down Dress Shirt, under $25 at Amazon
  • Blue and White Polka Dot Dress, under $40 at Amazon
  • Bear Paw Slippers, under $30 at Amazon
  • Pink Overalls, under $30 at Amazon
  • White Shirt With Pink Polka Dots, under $20 at Amazon
  • Red Golf Shirt, under $20 at Amazon

6. Amelia Bedelia

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:

  • Ruffled Bib Apron, under $20 at Amazon
  • Feather Duster, under $10 at Amazon
  • Knee Socks, under $10 at Amazon
  • Black Ruffle Dress, around $40 at Amazon
  • Felt Hat, under $20 at Amazon

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)

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:

  • Mouse Ears, under $15 at Amazon
  • Overalls, under $50 at Amazon

8. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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:

  • Green Tutu, under $25 at Amazon
  • Fabric Markers, under $15 at Amazon
  • White Long-Sleeve Shirt, under $10 at Amazon
  • Iron-On Butterfly, under $10 at Amazon

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:

  • Shakespeare Costume, under $35 at Amazon
  • Plastic Skull, under $15 at Amazon

10. Pippi Longstocking

book character costume

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:

  • Braided Red Wig, under $15 at Amazon
  • Plush Monkey, under $15 at Amazon

11. Max from Where the Wild Things Are

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:

  • Furry Crown, under $25 at Amazon
  • Onesie, under $40 at Amazon

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:

  • Blue-and-White-Striped Shirt, under $20 at Amazon
  • Red Pants, under $20 at Amazon

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

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:

  • Pink Feather Boa, under $10 at Amazon
  • Flamingo Sunglasses, under $10 at Amazon
  • Rainbow Duster, under $10 at Amazon
  • Tutu, under $15 at Amazon
  • Tiara, under $10 at Amazon
  • Pink and White Socks, under $15 at Amazon

14. Coraline

A woman stands in yellow rainboots, a yellow trenchcoat, and a blue wig, holding a key necklace.

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:

  • Blue Wig, under $15 at Amazon
  • Yellow Rain Boots, under $30 at Amazon
  • Yellow Pea Coat, under $65 at Amazon

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:

  • Black-and-Green-Striped Stockings, under $10 at Amazon
  • Long Witch Nose, under $10 at Amazon
  • Spiderweb Glasses, under $15 at Amazon

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

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:

  • Striped Tights, under $15 at Amazon
  • Pig Accessories, under $10 at Amazon

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:

  • White T-Shirt, under $10 at Amazon
  • Black Shorts, under $20 at Amazon
  • White Leggings, under $20 at Amazon
  • Black Fabric Marker, under $12 at Amazon
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid Mask, under $30 at Amazon

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:

  • Red Sneakers, under $25 at Amazon
  • Yellow Button-Up Shirt, under $25 at Amazon
  • Multi-Colored Buttons, under $10 at Amazon
  • Blue Knit Cat Hat, under $15 at Amazon
  • Pete the Cat Costume, under $50 at Amazon

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

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:

  • Large Felt Alphabet, under $20 at Amazon
  • Palm Tree Headband, under $15 at Amazon

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:

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

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:

  • Blue Crewneck Sweatshirt, under $25 at Amazon
  • Blue Baseball Cap, under $15 at Amazon
  • Badge Magic, under $15 at Amazon
  • Yellow Felt, under $15 at Amazon
  • Dog Ears, under $15 at Amazon
  • Face Makeup, under $15 at Amazon

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:

  • White Lab Coat, under $15 at Amazon
  • Clear Umbrella, under $30 at Amazon
  • Plastic Fruit, under $25 at Amazon

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

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,

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

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:

  • Face Paint Set, under $20 at Amazon
  • Rainbow-Striped Face Mask, under $10 at Amazon

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

A sign reads Don

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:

  • Crocheted Pigeon Hat, under $40 at Etsy
  • Blue Scrubs, under $30 at Amazon

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

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:

  • Elephant Ears, under $10 at Amazon
  • Pig Set, under $15 at Amazon

28. Narwhal and Jelly

Two women are shown one dressed as a narwhal and the other as a jellyfish. They are holding waffles.

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

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:

  • Leaf Garland Headband, under $15 at Amazon
  • Green Tutu, under $15 at Amazon
  • Green T-shirt, under $15 at Amazon

30. Peter Rabbit

A woman is shown wearing bunny ears, holding a carrot, with bunny face paint and dressed in blue.

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:

  • Bunny Costume, under $30 at Amazon
  • Bunny Ears, under $15 at Amazon

31. Mr. McGregor’s Garden

A man in a suit has a white picket fence hanging off of him and vegetables.- book character costume

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.

  • Plastic Vegetables, under $30 at Amazon
  • Garden Fence, under $30 at Amazon

32. Madeline

Two women are seen wearing matching outfits. They are wearing yellow hats, navy dresses, red neckerchiefs, and blue capes.

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!

  • Yellow Hat, under $25 at Amazon
  • Blue Cape, under $15 at Amazon
  • Black Mary Jane Shoes, under $40 at Amazon
  • Red Neckerchief, under $15 at Amazon

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

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.

  • Women’s Flannel Shirt, under $35 at Amazon
  • Stuffed Pig, under $10 at Amazon
  • Women’s Overalls, under $50 at Amazon

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.

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.

  • Pig Set, under $15 at Amazon
  • Red Dress, under $40 at Amazon

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

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.

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

  • Pug Costume, under $35 at Amazon
  • Pug Mask, under $20 at Amazon

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.

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.

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!

  • Black Leather Jacket, under $50 at Amazon
  • Brown Bob Wig, under $20 at Amazon
  • Striped T-Shirt, under $20 at Amazon

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.

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.

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

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

Share this article

Every product is independently selected by (obsessive) editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

Stay in touch

All the best teaching and learning ideas, straight to your inbox! Subscribe


60 Best Halloween Costumes for Teachers and Their Work BFFs

Costumes are better with friends.

17 Effective Decoding Strategies and Activities for Emerging Readers

Decoding (D) x Language Comprehension (LC) = Reading Comprehension (RC)

30 Times Teachers Dressed Up for Class and Impressed Us All

Teacher dress up is the REAL reason we love to teach.

Author spotlight

Jill Staake is a Contributing Editor with WeAreTeachers. She holds a B.S. degree in Secondary English Language Arts Education and has taught in both middle and high school classrooms. Her background also includes vocational training and performance support, curriculum design and development, and museum education. She’s written hundreds of articles across the web on a vast array of educational topics including her top passions: reading, writing, and science. You can reach her at [email protected].