Book week costumes – a plea from a parent

All dressed & ready for Book Week

This week is Children’s Book Week, and today my kids had their book week parade. The idea is simple – kids dress up as their favourite book character… or at least a character they can find a costume for.

This is fairly easy when the kids are reading picture books as there are lots of colourful pictures to work from. Life gets a bit more interesting when kids are reading chapter books and novels where, usually, the only picture is on the cover. If you’re lucky enough for the kids to have chosen a character from a book that has pictures, they are often black and white line drawings, and not always of the character you need to create a costume for. The other issue is that by the time it comes to creating a costume, the kids have forgotten any detailed descriptions of what the characters wore and they can’t find them easily when they look (or in the case of Mr Z, he had returned the books to the library!).

Mr Z decided to dress as Tom from Beast Quest. This involved leggings and a tunic that had to be blue, a shield and a sword. We spent quite a while searching Google Images to find pictures to help us – and there was a huge variety of different costumes, especially different shield designs. Mr Z ended up making one that he was happy with, but finding a tunic required trips to quite a few op shops.

Mr N decided to dress as the main character from the Riddle Quest books. Thankfully we had the picture on the cover to work from, though his cape ended up as a light purple baby wrap that was still around from when the boys were babies!

It’s quite challenging to come up with a costume for books that are not picture books. This may have something to do with the fact that my kids have moved on to longer books aimed at older kids who don’t usually dress up… I’m sure I’m not alone.

I have a simple plea for the authors and publishers of some of these books. On your websites, if you could put some tips for book week costumes for the main characters in your books, it would be most appreciated. Especially DIY tips. It’s funny how detail specific kids can be when creating costumes, so any templates for markings on shields or staffs and the like would also be most appreciated. I’m sure I’m not the only parent who would appreciate this information…

And yes, I’m adding this to the list of things to put on my website for when my books are published. I’m sure the boys will have a lot of fun helping me with this page.

Oh, and if anyone is interested in instructions for these costumes, let me know 🙂

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  1. That’s a great idea!
    We had book parade today and Miss 7 went as one of the Eel’s from The Little Mermaid. She has a vivid imagination, and luckily we had an old dance costume that suited!

  2. Great idea! Authors could post DIY costume ideas for their book characters onto their websites. And that gives authors yet another way to connect with and reach out to their readers.

  3. Great idea – way to get parents and kids more interested in your work too!

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