Book Day Dress-Up Ideas for Kids & Teachers

Book Day Dress-Up Ideas for Kids & Teachers

Dressing up as a book character is a great way to get children to use their imaginations and bring the stories they love to life. Are they dreaming of going to Hogwarts? Planning heroic feats like their favourite comic book characters? Perhaps they want to be a princess in a faraway kingdom? With the right costume, their favourite book, and a little imagination they’ll be on their way! We’ve got your Book Day dress-up ideas covered!


When is World Book Day?

Many schools in NZ hold book-themed events at different times of the year. World Book Day is celebrated in the UK on March 2nd while International Children’s Book Day is on April 2nd each year. April 23rd is World Book and Copyright Day, whereas our buddies in Australia celebrate a whole week of book events in August each year.


Find out when your school is celebrating Book Day so that you can be prepared with the best Book Day costume!


What are the best book day costumes?

Well, that really depends on what books your kids love! Harry Potter is always a big favourite of kids, with options to dress up in different Hogwarts House colours and as specific characters, like Harry, Hermione, Hagrid, Luna, or even Voldemort! Other popular book choices include The Bad Guys, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, Pig the Pug, Mary Poppins, Secret Garden, Little Red Riding Hood, and Roald Dahl characters such as Charlie, Willy Wonka or Fantastic Mr. Fox.


How do you get kids who don’t like reading involved in book day?

It can be tricky to get some kids excited about books. However, these days there are lots of books about all sorts of different interests. If your child is into football, find them books about playing football. There are also picture books and novels that may tie in with their favourite movies, like Disney, Minions, or Star Wars, and television shows like Bluey, My Little Pony, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Comic books are another great way to encourage kids to read. They can dress up as their favourite Marvel or DC Comics characters, like Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, and Iron Man!


It doesn’t even have to be a novel. If your child has a favourite non-fiction book about dinosaurs it’s the perfect opportunity to get them dressed up and thinking about what it would be like to be a dinosaur. Historical characters make another great option, whether it’s a knight of the round table, a pirate, or a medieval princess.


Can they dress up from a movie for book day?

Some schools may have rules about this, but in most cases, if your child is reading about their favourite movie, tv, or game character, then they should be able to celebrate their love of reading! This may be a great way to get your kids to read more by buying or borrowing from the library a book about a movie they love.

Whether you’re planning to create your own or ordering something readymade, it pays to start planning early!


Top Book Day Costume Ideas for Boys

Finding a book day dress-up for boys can be tricky! Here are some of our favourites:

How to Train Your Dragon

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Fantastic Mr. Fox

The Bad Guys


Harry Potter


Star Wars

Alice in Wonderland

Comic Book Heroes




When I Grow Up


Top Book Day Costume Ideas for Girls

Girls can get a little spoilt for choice – they can safely pick from the boys' dress-up list or find something a little more girlie from the list below!


Alice in Wonderland 

Disney Princesses 

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Bluey and Bingo

Comic book heroes

Disney villains

Minnie Mouse


Mythical creatures 


Miraculous Ladybug



Top Book Day Costume Ideas for Teenagers

Bigger kids can sometimes struggle for the right costume for book day. Check out these options below for Tweens and Teens Book Day costumes.

Wizard of Oz

Harry Potter

DC Comics

Jurassic Park

Tinker Bell

Alice in Wonderland



Star Wars



Top Book Day Costume Ideas for Pre-schoolers

If your kindergarten or playcentre is getting involved with book day, or if you have younger children who need to follow the lead of their older siblings, here are some of our best ideas for book day dress up for preschool kids.

Thomas the Tank Engine

101 Dalmatians


Minnie Mouse

Bluey and Bingo

The Wiggles

Dumbo the Elephant

Harry Potter

The Wizard of Oz

Toy Story

Gabby’s Dollhouse




Top Book Day Costume Ideas for Teachers

Teachers! This is the perfect opportunity to dress up as your favourite book character and have some fun! Maybe someone evil to encourage the kids to behave? Or show your house pride in a Hogwarts Robe. Here are our top picks for teacher book day dress-ups.

Snow White

Alice in Wonderland

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Peter Pan

Mary Poppins

Harry Potter



So get your thinking caps on and start planning the best book day costume ever!


Book Day Tips

  • Start thinking about options early
  • Get your child involved in the process
  • Make sure you can get your hands on a copy of the book (your own copy, or from a library), as kids like to show the book they’re dressed from in photos and for the parade. Worst case you can print off or get your child to draw the book cover.
  • Look at what you have at home – whether it’s in your costume chest or your kid’s wardrobe there are options everywhere. A few accessories, like a wand, glasses & Gryffindor tie can turn a regular uniform into a Harry Potter costume!
  • Basic makeup, like an eyeliner pencil can transform a look – drawing freckles, whiskers or a lightning scar will add details quickly and easily
  • If you’re on a budget, pick a costume that can do double time. Choosing a costume your child can wear again for Halloween, superhero day or a princess party gives you more bang for your buck
  • Try on the costume before the morning it is needed!
  • Have fun!


Quick Links:

Book Day Costumes for Boys

Book Day Costumes for Girls

Book Day Costumes for Teens

Book Day Costumes for Babies & Toddlers

Book Day Costumes for Teachers

Book Day Costumes for Adults

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