Check out these easy Book Week costume ideas for 2023 Children’s Book Week theme: “Read, Grow, Inspire.”
Book Week 2023 runs from 19 – 25 August. This year asks your children to embrace the theme “Read, Grow, Inspire”. This exciting invitation opens a world full of possibilities when it comes to kids Book Week theme ideas. This is an opportunity to escape into another world where your child can choose just about any costume for book week.
Book Week is a fantastic opportunity for your child to celebrate their favourite characters from their favourite books by dressing up. However, if you’re the sort of parent that cringes when you the phrase “Book Week” then you are going to love this article which is all about easy book week costumes and kids book week ideas.
Read, Grow, Inspire costume ideas – easy Book Week costume ideas
This theme is so open, we love it! You can take a literal approach to “grow” with stories of giants, or even of gardening, or the metaphysical approach of growing emotionally or in maturity. And there are so many inspirational stories out there from sports heroes, to historical figures, and political refugees, and scientific superstars.
Easy Book Week ideas for your costume for Book Week
There’s no need to raid your local craft store and stay up until the early hours of the morning creating your child’s Book Week dress up costume. In this guide we’ve also provided links to buy your kids book week costumes online. With the magic of books comes endless possibilities! These children’s Book Week costume ideas will help spark your imagination.
Delve into our Book Week 2023 costume inspiration, take a look at our suggestions for books for all age groups and costumes you can buy with a quick click, or make for yourself at home.
Tip: Enjoy the lead up to the August event with DIY costume crafts or reading through your children’s favourite stories for inspiration. Perhaps even encourage your children to participate in The Premier’s Reading Challenge.
- Read, Grow, Inspire costume ideas – easy Book Week costume ideas
- Easy Book Week ideas for your costume for Book Week
- Easy Book Week costumes for sports fans
- Book Week costumes for children’s favourites
- “When I grow up” Book Week ideas
- Inspirational books about little people with big dreams
- Thought-provoking Book Week ideas
- Inspiring kindness and inclusivity
- Fun Book Week costumes for little kids
- Other ideas to fit the 2023 book week theme
- Check out these Book Week costume ideas from earlier years:
- Easy Book Week costume ideas for teachers
- Tips for Reading With Children:
Easy Book Week costumes for sports fans
A sports uniform is one of the most comfortable and easiest book week costumes to source and wear. Every sport-loving child hopes to follow in the footsteps of their inspirational sports hero.
Basketball Book Week inspiration
Basketball is one of the fastest growing sports in Australia. Many of our home-grown stars being drafted into Australia’s NBL and even into America’s big league NBA. If your child is a basketball fan, they’ll love the opportunity to wear their uniform to school!
The Boy Who Never Gave Up is the inspiring true story of NBA superstar Stephen Curry. This Fully illustrated picture book biography tells the story of a young boy who many said was too short to play in high school, too weak to play in college and not good enough to play in the NBA. Against all odds, this small boy not only makes it to the NBA, but becomes one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball.
Before he became a professional basketballer, Michael Jordan dreamed of winning an Olympic gold medal – and he did! With the 2032 Olympics coming to Australia, any budding Olympian can Dream Big.
Inspirational Basketball Short Stories is a collection of heartwarming and motivating tales about the game of basketball and the amazing people who play it. From legendary coaches to hardworking players, these stories will inspire your child to follow their dreams and never give up.
Get the books
The Boy Who Never Gave Up by Anthony Curcio.
Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Excellence by Deloris Jordan
Inspirational Basketball Short Stories by Faqimi Fauzi
Get the costume
All you need is a basketball shirt and shorts, available from sports shops, discount department store, or your child’s basketball team. You can click in the image below to buy a Steph Curry replica uniform, or find a whole heap of replica basketball uniforms for kids here.
Other sport-based inspirational books and costumes
If your child participates in a sport, lucky you – you already have the costume! Now all you need are the inspirational books to encourage your child to stick at it and be their best. Try these inspirational sports heroes to match your ready-made costume:
Logan’s Big Move by Olympic gold medalist Logan Martin.
Leo Messi (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara.
Lionesses (Ultimate Football Heroes): The Road to Glory by Emily Stead.
Sam Kerr: Kicking Goals by Sam Kerr, Fiona Harris, and Aki Fukuoka
Bruce Lee: A Kid’s Book About Pursuing Your Passions by Mary Nhin
Federer: The Children’s Book by Roy Brandon
Ash Barty: Champion by Ash Barty
Book Week costumes for children’s favourites
Is your child obsessed with a particular series? Children’s books are filled with stories of ordinary characters who find themselves living extraordinary lives. They’re popular for a reason – they inspire leadership, courage, friendship, and endurance to overcome challenges. We love these book series for kids!
A most inspirational wizard!
When it comes to book week ideas, Harry Potter is always a favourite. There are Book Week costume ideas for everyone within its pages!
Harry Potter is an orphaned wizard who faces a lot of adversary and challenge. His courage and strength of friendships are an inspiration to anyone who has read the books!
Have your child dress up as their favourite character from the book, whether that be Harry Potter himself or one of his friends, Hermione Granger or Ron Weasley. Your child will love imagining they are attending the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the day and learning how to control their magical powers.
If your child would rather be one of the Harry Potter creatures for Book Week 2023, check out this awesome Dobby the House Elf costume – he even has a sock!
Just note that Harry Potter is one of most popular book characters to dress up as, so don’t go for this if your child wants something unique.
We’ve also got an article on how to get an acceptance letter to Hogwarts if your child is nearly 11 years old!
Book Inspiration: Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Warrior Cats – Erin Hunter
This epic collection of books follows the lives of clans of wild cats and former pets as they forge a new life for themselves in the forest. The cats must form strong allegiances, battle nature and other clans, and ultimately work together to survive. This inspiring series illustrates the values of cooperation and adaptibility to grow as a new family.
We love this Book Week costume idea because a cat costume can be easily made from things you may already have in your child’s wardrobe. Match tracksuit pants with a t-shirt, fashion a tail by stuffing a stocking or long sock with other odd socks, stick felt or paper ears to a headband and apply a bit of facepaint, and voila! You have made your very own Warrior Cat costume!
If you prefer to buy a book week cat costume, check this one out:
Book inspiration: Warrior Cats by Erin Hunter.
Bilbo Baggins – The Hobbit
The Hobbit, part of The Lord of the Rings series, was originally written for an older audience but there are many beautifully illustrated and graphic-novel versions available now to tempt younger and advanced readers. If you have a fantasy loving child, take them to Middle Earth in this fabulous Bilbo Baggins book week costume with ring. You can even buy the giant feet for added authenticity!
Book inspiration: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein.
Click here to order your Bilbo Baggins costume.
Dragons are always popular in children’s books, especially once children are reading for themselves in upper primary. It might be tricky to create your own Book Week dragon costume, but there are lots available online to suit all age groups. This one would work particularly well for fans of the How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell and Eragon by Christopher Paolini for older readers.
A favourite in our house is Dragonology by Ernest Drake for serious fans of dragons!
Anne of Green Gables
It’s a classic book series that’s found a new audience – Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery is the story of an inquisitive orphan girl adopted by a loving older couple in colonial America. In the first book of the series, her dream was for a dress with puffed sleeves; “Puffed sleeves are so fashionable now. It would give me such a thrill, Marilla, just to wear a dress with puffed sleeves.” Get your dress with puffed sleeves right here.
“When I grow up” Book Week ideas
Whatever your child wants to be when they grow up, there are books to inspire.
Book Week astronaut costume
SPACE! It’s infinite – and as big as your dreams can possibly be. Imagine being an astronaut, floating around in a space ship and looking through your windows at all the tiny worlds far away. This NASA astronaut costume is the perfect accompaniment to these books for young children aged 4-8 years:
If your child loves space, check out our Kids Guide to the International Space Station.
Inspirational books about little people with big dreams
Put on your woolly hat and gloves and dream of an antarctic adventure! This wonderful book tells the story of Ernest Shackleton’s inspirational dream to reach the South Pole.
There are many books in this series, and so many costume ideas! Other books include Mahatma Gandhi, Aretha Franklin, Captain Tom Moore, Rosalind Franklin, Amelia Earhart and many, many more.
Book inspiration: Little People, Big Dreams: Ernest Shackleton by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Thought-provoking Book Week ideas
Older readers will love to be challenged with Book Week 2023 ideas that inspire personal growth through thought-provoking storylines. These award winning books are our personal favourites.
A dystopian future in How to Bee
How to Bee is story about family, loyalty, kindness and bravery, set against an all-too-possible future where climate change has forever changed the way we live. Bees are extinct and so children have to do their work pollinating the crops. It was the winner of the CBCA Book of the Year, Younger Readers, 2018 award.
Book inspiration: How to Bee by Bren MacDribble
Order your bee costume online here.
The past returns in When You Trap a Tiger
Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother.
When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history.
Book inspiration: When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
Order your tiger costume online here.
Inspiring kindness and inclusivity
A Dragon Shared is a wild ride for kids from toddler to grade 3, filled with action-packed illustrations and an important message about kindness, inclusivity, and friendship.
With a diverse cast of characters, it’s a must-have for your child’s bookshelf and school library! The story of Aaron and the mysterious knight will have kids laughing, cheering, and learning valuable lessons about treating others with kindness. So come on, grab your armour, and let’s find a dragon!
Find a range of cute dragon costumes here.
And knight costumes here.
The Tea Dragon Society
“This book is wonderfully inclusive, and depicts a distinct and expressive cast of LGBTQIA characters and people of color.” — School Library Journal
In the bewitching Tea Dragon Society series, two-time Eisner Award-winning creator K. O’Neill offers three stories featuring the enchanting world of Tea Dragons. This charming and peaceful trilogy is heartwarming, inclusive, and absolutely magical.
These books are graphic novels, and the characters wear everyday clothes! Recreate a character from an image by matching the pants and top, or choose a cute dragon costume from the link above.
Fun Book Week costumes for little kids
Kids love to dress up in fun brightly-coloured costumes. For little kids, Book Week is all about exploring books and their imagination. You can fit the theme Read, Grow, Inspire to almost any story for young readers – after all the aim is to inspire a love of reading!
Keep your child happy with a costume they can wear again and again.
In the realm of countless fiction and non-fiction books, dinosaurs capture the imagination of children everywhere. It makes sense that dinosaurs are a popular choice when it comes to some of the best book week costumes.
Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in the prehistoric era amongst the dinosaurs? This book week you can find out! Grab your best dinosaur outfit (we love, love, LOVE this one here) or skip brushing your hair to be the perfect caveman.
Book inspiration: How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
Click here to order your dinosaur book week costume
Under the Sea
Does your child dream of exploring the ocean? Mermaids, sunken treasure, giant monsters – could they all be in this unexplored world? If you’re looking for unusual book week costume inspiration you’re bound to find it there!
I remember making an under-the-sea themed costume for my son in prep. It was a costume that my son could easily take off and put on so that it wouldn’t get in the way of playing and eating, and it was so simple to make. My son went as a jellyfish! Here’s what I did: I bought an old grey sheet from a charity shop and cut off a large section to wrap over my wide-brimmed sun hat, padding the gap between the sheet and brim with newspaper to give it that nice blobby jellyfish shape. I cut the rest of the sheet into long thin strips of unequal length and secured them to the underside of the brim with safety pins (it was last-minute – I didn’t have time to sew!). Then he simply wore the hat and let the strips dangle around him like jellyfish tentacles. Wearing his boardies and rashie underneath he was totally sunsafe with a unique no-fuss DIY book week costume!
If you want your under-the-sea curious creature book week costume at the click of a button, try this “Bubbles” fish costume for younger children.
Book inspiration (non-fiction): Citizens of the Sea by Nancy Knowlton and National Geographic
We love monsters, and they’re in books for all ages! From Sesame Street’s The Monster at the End of This Book, Sigel Adler’s “You’re Not My Monster” (a book to help children overcome fears), and “Eat Pete” by Michael Rex, these sometimes scary but ultimately friendly creatures bring fun and adventure into every life. The great thing about monster book week costumes is they can be as wild and zany as your imagination! Grab scraps of ‘hairy’ or bright fabric from the off-cuts bin at your local fabric store and pin them into a ragtag haphazard cloak to create the monster of your dreams, or check out these fabulous ready-made monster book week costumes available online.
For younger children, monsters are ideal toddler book week costumes – just see the number of monster board books available at your local library!
Click here to order Purple and Orange book week monster costume.
Click here to order Pink and Purple book week monster costume.
Where the Wild Things Are
This beautiful timeless classic has been a favourite for over fifty years! Where the Wild Things Are is a heartwarming story of a little boy sent to bed without his supper, but his bedroom undergoes a mysterious transformation – you could say Max was drreaming with his eyes open! Max finds himself sailing to an island where the Wild Things live, but instead of being eaten, Max becomes their king.
Where the Wild Things Are has been adapted many times in television and cinema and has also been made into a live-theatre stage play.
Book inspiration: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Order your Max book week costume online here.
Voyage with the Vikings
Travel back in time, around 1000 years, to the world of the Vikings.
Imagine trying on a costume in a magical shop, and suddenly finding you have a mystery to solve – a mystery that takes you back in time! That’s what happens to Beth and Patrick when they visit the Imagination Station in Mr Whittaker’s shop. Voyage with the Vikings is the first of many adventures for Beth and Patrick. Before you embark on your adventure, you’ll need your own Viking costume!
Book inspiration: Dragonology by Ernest Drake
Order your dragon book week costume online here.
Dora the Explorer and Diego
With a dream for adventure, Dora leads the way with her friends.
Dora is a seven year old Latina girl who, with the help of her friends Backpack, Map and Boots the Monkey, goes on exciting adventures. During her adventures Dora is regularly faced with problems that she must solve as well as working out how best to deal with the infamous Swiper the Fox.
Dora the Explorer is great idea if you’re looking for cheap book week costumes or girls book week costumes as you could probably make it work with what your child already has in their wardrobe. All you need is a pink t-shirt, a pair of orange shorts, a purple backpack (or the actual backpack), pair of sneakers and yellow frilly socks. If you don’t have these items, there are some great Dora the Explorer book week costumes online.
Just like his cousin Dora, Diego loves to go on adventures with his friend Baby Jaguar to see who he can help today!
To make your own Diego costume, pair blue shorts with a light blue t-shirt, and add an overshirt with the sleeves removed. If you want to be more authentic with the badge and backpack, buy the complete Diego book week costume online.
Book Inspiration: Dora the Explorer
Click here to order your ready made Dora the Explorer book week costume.
Book inspiration: Dora Helps Diego by Nickelodeon
Click here to buy your Go, Diego, Go! book week costume.
Other ideas to fit the 2023 book week theme
You can adapt almost any of your children’s favourite books to suit the Read, Grow, Inspire 2023 Book Week theme, or even adapt a costume your child already has. Check out the costumes available in many local stores (KMart, Big W etc.) – and pick up a book to match. It can be as easy as that to inspire a lifelong love of reading.
Left it too late? Here’s where to hire a costume near you! Click here
Book Week Ideas – timeless favourites
We hope these Children’s Book Week costume ideas will help you explore the “Read, Grow, Inspire’ theme this Book Week 2023, but here are a few more timeless favourites that you can adapt to fit almost any book week theme!
Of course we don’t expect your little one just to wear their undies to school! Dress them in a skin coloured leggings or pants and skin colour top, then put a great big pair of white y-front underpants on top. Finish it off with a red cape.
Check out these Book Week costume ideas from earlier years:
When it comes to dressing up for Book Week Families Magazine readers are the BEST…
Many children love getting dressed up for Book Week – we loved these costume ideas sent in by our Facebook followers.
Easy Book Week costume ideas for teachers
Check out these Book Week costume ideas for teachers that were sent in by some of our followers!
Tips for Reading With Children:
- Talk with your child about the book they are reading. What is it about? Do they like it? What do they think will happen next?
- Ensure your child can read and understand the vocabulary used in the books and that they are comprehending what they are reading. Reading should have meaning!
- Talk about the pictures, particularly with younger and less able readers. Pictures help children to understand the words.
- Ask your child to read some of the words from the book in isolation to ensure they are not memorising the sequence of the text.
- As your child gets older or a more able reader, discuss the characters and the words and phrases used by the author.
- When your child does not know a word, encourage them to make a sensible guess but do not let them struggle.
- Encourage your child to sound out and word build phonetic words, by using letter sounds not letter names, e.g. ‘a’ as in pat. Help them to break down the longer words, e.g. im-por-tant. It is important that your child recognises all the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make.
- If your child misreads a word, stop him or her and say the correct word – although if it is a word which makes no difference to the meaning (for example, ‘home’ instead of ‘house’) it is best to ignore it.
- Try to develop your child’s expression and prediction skills, especially when they have become a fluent reader – draw their attention to punctuation, e.g. stopping at full stops and the use of expression when characters are speaking.
- Use lots of praise and encouragement and avoid criticism. It is important your child becomes confident with their reading.
Your child may experience a mixture of reading activities in school
- They should be given opportunities to read individually from reading scheme books.
- During shared/quiet reading sessions they may be encouraged to read silently or share with a partner a book of their choice.
- They may take part in group play and poetry reading sessions.
Finally and most importantly, so you can enjoy hearing your child read, make the reading sessions short. Give lots of praise – for effort as well as achievement. If you are anxious try not to let it show. Discuss any concerns you have about your child’s reading with their class teacher.
This article was featured in Issue 40 of our printed magazine, published June 2020.