Books

30 Best Book Character Costume Ideas for Halloween 2022

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Tamara Schlesinger

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The only thing more fun than dressing up in a costume on Halloween? Getting lost in a good book. And if you’re a bookworm who also happens to love Halloween, then you know that you’ll find plenty of inspiration for costume ideas in fiction. Whether you’re a teacher in need of some inspiration for Halloween or a parent planning for book character dress-up day at school, we have plenty of book character costume ideas for both kids and adults that you’re sure to love. The best part: Everyone else is sure to appreciate your costume, too.

From characters inspired by classic fairytales, like Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood, to far more modern fictional icons, like Katniss Everdeen and Harry Potter, we’ve got book character costumes that’ll to just about anyone. And don’t worry if putting together DIY Halloween costumes isn’t your thing — our list includes costumes that you can simply buy in time for the big day, too. Read on for all the best book character-inspired costumes for toddlers, twins, teachers, and everyone in between, ranging from Fantastic Mr. Fox to Captain Underpants to Clifford the Big Red Dog.

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The iconic character of Holly Golightly was first introduced in Truman Capote’s novel Breakfast at Tiffany’sand you can easily channel Holly with a black dress, pearls, and an updo.

SHOP TIARA HAIRPIECE

Mr. Fox is one of Roald Dahl’s most iconic storybook characters, and dressing up as him will ensure that you’re warm and cozy all Halloween night long.

Get the Fantastic Mr. Fox Costume tutorial at Rachael Jess.

You’ll take everyone on a trip to the past when you’re dressed as the kooky Miss Frizzle from Joanna Cole’s The Magic School Bus.

If you’ve already got a yellow rain slicker and boots at home, then taking on Neil Gaiman’s classic character Coraline just requires a blue wig (or some blue hair dye, if you really want to commit).

SHOP BLUE WIG

Want to spend Halloween night solving mysteries like Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew? Then all you need is a plaid skirt, cardigan sweater, and magnifying glass.

Get the Nancy Drew Costume tutorial at The Homesteady.

Dressing up like fearless French schoolgirl Madeline simply requires a blue cape and yellow hat just like Ludwig Bemelmans’ character always wears.

If you’re feeling ready to take on the Big Bad Wolf, then simply layer a red hooded poncho over a red dress to become the classic fairytale character Little Red Riding Hood. Don’t forget your basket of goodies!

SHOP RED PONCHO

Fans of Marcus Pfister’s Rainbow Fish will love that this costume doesn’t require any other pieces (though, of course, you can feel free to accessorize however you’d like).

Astrid Lindgren’s spunky character Pippi Longstocking is best known for her eclectic ensembles, so as long as you’re willing to mix and match patterns, this costume is a breeze to put together.

SHOP MISMATCHED SOCKS

If your kid gets a kick out of Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series, then this clever DIY costume is a must.

Get the Captain Underpants Costume tutorial at Where the Smiles Have Been.

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Very Hungry Caterpillar

Not only is this Eric Carle-inspired costume totally unique — it’s also amazingly affordable and requires no other accessories.

Though best known as a ballet, the story of the Nutcracker was actually inspired by ETA Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse Kingand what could be more fun than dressing up as the king of the mice for Halloween?

Get the Mouse King Costume tutorial at See Vanessa Craft.

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Clifford the Big Red Dog

You don’t have to be as tall as a house in order to dress like Norman Bridwell’s larger-than-life character, Clifford the Big Red Dog.

If you’re looking to add a fun twist to the classic cat Halloween costume, then you can just put on an all-black ensemble, draw on some whiskers, add a red-and-white-striped hat, and become a Dr. Seuss character.

SHOP STRIPED HAT

Pretty much everyone is familiar with Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Areand dressing up your little one as the fearless Max is sure to be a hit.

An all-black ensemble, a bow, and a long braid are all you need to become the fierce Katniss Everdeen from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games.

SHOP BOW

Before Walt Disney made him famous, Pinocchio was a character created by Italian author Carlo Collodi, and dressing up as the mischievous marionette is easier than you think.

Get the Pinocchio Costume tutorial at Lovely Indeed.

For a Little House on the Prairie-inspired look, go with this long, farm girl dress and become Laura Ingalls Wilder for the day.

With the help of a dark peacoat, deerstalker hat, and a pipe, you can look just like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s eccentric detective character, Sherlock Holmes.

SHOP HAT AND PIPE

Pair a white button-down shirt with a black skirt and add a few key accessories to become everyone’s favorite babysitter from PL Travers’ book series.

Get the Mary Poppins Costume tutorial at Keiko Lynn.

Transport yourself to AA Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood for the night with the help of this cozy Pooh Bear onesie, which you’ll want to wear long after October 31 has passed.

Want to look like a real doll this Halloween? Then dress up as Johnny Gruelle’s adorable red-headed character Raggedy Ann.

SHOP STRIPED SOCKS

Summon the Boy Who Lived with a sweater vest, maroon-and-gold-striped tie, a black cape-like coat, and some eyeglasses. Don’t forget your lightning scar!

Get the Harry Potter Costume tutorial at See Vanessa Craft.

Candy lovers will flip for this Willy Wonka ensemble, which is inspired by another memorable Roald Dahl character.

Want to look just like Michael Bond’s accident-prone Paddington Bear? You just need to get yourself a long blue coat, a pair of red rain boots, and a matching red hat.

SHOP RED HAT

To transform yourself into the titular character from the Lewis Carroll novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlandyou just need a blue dress and a white apron.

Get the Alice in Wonderland Costume tutorial.

To dress up like history’s most famous aardvark, you just need a yellow sweater, a set of ears, and Arthur’s trademark glasses. And make sure you bring your library card along, too!

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