Brilliant costumes to buy for World Book Day
£22.99, Party Delights
No Golden Ticket is required when you own the chocolate factory! Your very own minature sweets mogul will be ready to invent a myriad new sweet creations in a purple velour coat and spotty bow-tie, plus an impressive soft top hat and cane. Sizes 4 to 14 years.
Instantly transform into a fearsome dragon, ready to battle with Saint George or be trained by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, with this one-piece dragon jumpsuit. Fits ages 3-8.
He'll be all set for a day of mischief and tricks with this Henry costume. Inclues printed top, trousers and foam mask. Sizes from 3 to 8 years.
£13.99, Fancy Dress Ball
Give Benedict Cumberbatch a run for his money with this Victorian-era costume (includes coat, cap and belt; supply your own pipe and magnifying glass). Sir Conan Doyle would approve. Age 7 to 15 sizes.
Peter Pan / Robin Hood
Two years for the price of one, this costume can be adapted to be Peter Pan or Robin Hood! For Peter, buy or make a sword. For Robin, fashion a bow and arrow set by tying a piece of string to a bendy stick, and painting poster tube brown. Sizes 3-10.
£12.99, Fancy Dress Ball
Prepare to fall down a rabbit hole and meet some very peculiar tea-time companions! The perfect outfit for Wonderland is required: blue dress, white apron (decorated with black and red card symbols) and a shimmering blue headband. Ready for an audience with the Queen? Sizes 4 to 12 years.
£21.99, Jokers’ Masquerade
Add as much or as little as you like to this hooded Hogwarts robe to dress up as the ‘boy who lived’, with a wand, glasses or a Gryffindor tie. The robe will actually do for any Gryffindor, so – with the right props – your child can return to Hogwarts next year as a completely different character. Sizes fit ages 5-10.
Transform your Hobbit-lover into an actual hobbit with this costume (make sure you fashion the sought-after Ring in tinfoil to include with the outfit) and prepare them for Middle Earth.
Use a standard princess dress and transform it into their favourite princess from fairytales with little characters' details. How about a ‘glass slipper’ for Cinderella (any clear or sparkly shoe will do) or a pillow and a cardboard pea for the princess and the pea? Sizes 2 to 10 years.
£8.99, Fancy Dress Ball
A multi-tasking costume that will also come in handy at Halloween! Accessorise with a broom to become Meg the witch (of Meg and Mog picture book fame) or Winnie the witch (a black toy cat could stand in for Wilbur) or Mildred Hubble, the Worst Witch.
£13.99, Fancy Dress Ball
Prepare for stormy weather and dress for Oz! This Dorothy costume includes the hair bow, dress and red shoe covers; add a basket and a toy Toto and your little girl will be ready to follow the yellow brick road and see the Wizard. Sizes from 4 to 9 years.
Little Red Riding Hood
Basket? Check. Peasant dress? Check. All-important red cape? Check. It's time to pack some treats and head for Grandma's house... but beware of wolves on the way! Sizes 4 to 12 years.
Pongo, Perdita or one of the puppies? Club together with some friends to buy multiple costumes and create a full 101 Dalmations effect in the classroom! Sizes 4 to 12 years.
Jane Austen heroine
Although this is technically a Victorian-era dress, it works well for Lizzie Bennet, Emma Woodhouse, Fanny Price...any Jane Austen heroine. Your child will look the part, whichever of Austen's heroines she favours. Sizes 8 to 10 years.
£17, Argos TU clothing
This costume features characters from the story on the front and back, with the hood as the Gruffalo's head and feet with claws on them.
Easy to spot in the Book Day crowd, Wally is a classic costume. Striped top, classic blue trousers and the obligatory striped hat... unmistakeable! Sizes 4 to 12 years.
The Little Mermaid
Use World Book Day dressing up as an excuse to re-read Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, then float to school in a dress trimmed with ribbons and shells. The skirt is cut into a tail shape at the hem to complete the effect. Sizes 3 to 6 years.
£14.99, Fancy Dress Ball
Practically perfect in every way, the world's most famous nanny needs no introduction. Accessorize with a large umbrella (a useful flying aid when you're looking for new charges) and your magical disciplinarian will be all set to bring order to the nursery. Sizes 4 to 12 years.
Babar the Elephant
Reign over the elephant kingdom as the wise and wonderful Babar, the much-loved character from the Jean de Brunhoff stories. Add a golden crown (a paper cut-out one will match the book's illustrations) to this jumpsuit costume and practise your regal wave. Sizes 4 to 8 years.
Thomas the Tank Engine
£14.95, Karnival Costumes
It's full steam ahead with this Thomas (and James) reversible tabard. The costume also comes with a black conductor's hat to help bring Britain's most famous (fictional) steam locomotive to life. Perfect for fans of the Reverand Awdry's railway adventures. One size.
Ready to go dream-collecting, armed with the Big Friendly Giant's traditional blowpipe? The costume also includes a top, trousers and very-large-ears headband. Size 7 to 10 years.
All for one, one for all! Will your musketeer choose to be Athos, Porthos or Aramis (or the dashing D'Artagnan) in their royal blue coloured tunic decorated with intricate white lace and gold trim detailing to the sleeves and collar? The finishing touch is a musketeer's hat with attached white feather. Sizes 7 to 12 years.
The Peach (from James and the Giant Peach)
£14.99, Boogie Knights
A quick but very effective option for Roald Dahl fans, this James and the Giant Peach inspired tabard is made from peach velour, foam lined fabric and has an integrated 'wiggly worm' hand puppet ... One size (fits 4 to 8 years).
£29.99, Charlie Crow
James Bigglesworth, nicknamed "Biggles", is the fictional pilot and adventurer of the Biggles adventure books. Don WW2-style trousers, jacket and helmet to relive his daredevil adventures in the skies! Sizes 8 to 12 years.
£29.99, Jokers' Masquerade
Who wouldn't want to be an Oompa Loompa and live in a chocolate factory? Prepare your child to toil happily by the chocolate river, munching on marshmallowy grass, with this regulation overalls set (wig and copious amounts of orange face paint available separately). Sizes 4 to 12 years.
Mog the Cat
Channel your inner feline with this brilliant Mog costume (and take the opportunity to reread all Judith Kerr's brilliant Mog stories while wearing it!). A grey and black jumpsuit with an attached, 3D padded character hood, hand covers, deattachable tail and attached shoe covers. Size 3 to 5 years.
The Cat in the Hat
“I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.” Whatever the weather, a good day is certain with this Dr Seuss Cat in the Hat costume (and it'll be warm and snuggly, too!). The fleece-feel jumpsuit comes with red bow tie, tail and hat. Size 4 to 12 years.
The Gingerbread Man
£11.99, Wonderland Party
Run, run, as fast as you can and dress up as the speedy, tasty treat from the traditional tale in this cosy costume, a brown top with matching trousers and headpiece. Sizes from 3 to 9 years.
The very hungry caterpillar
Can your child recite all the foods their super-hungry caterpillar self has eaten before turning into a butterfly? All together now: one apple, two pears, three plums... Size 3-7 years.
Dorothy's companion in Oz can enjoy practising his 'robot moves' all day with this shiny costume, complete with oil-can-shaped hat. Add a scarecrow, a cowardly lion and a Dorothy (or a wicket Witch of the West) and the whole family can choose an Oz theme this Book Day. Sizes 3 to 10 years.
£24.99, Party Delights
Captured in all his messy glory, the revolting Mr Twit has a purple jacket and trousers, a felt paint pot and brush and, of course, his disgusting, dirty long beard. Could your child team up with a Mrs Twit and go as a pair? Sizes 7 to 12 years.
Lady Capulet (or Juliet)
£15.99, Party Delights
Wear the headdress and hear up as Juliet's mother, or have your hair down to be Shakespeare's tragic heroine Juliet... this costume is guaranteed to transport you to Verona. Will your Romeo be waiting under the balcony? Sizes 6 to 10 years.
Fantastic Mr Fox
We all love Roald Dahl's clever Mr Fox. Complete with detachable tail, red neck tie and head piece, your child will outfox everyone with this classic costume! Available in size 4 -12 years.
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea / In a beautiful pea-green boat... Pack some honey and plenty of money and set sail for the land where the Bong-Tree grows in this costume and pay tribute to Edward Lear's amazing nonsense poem. Sizes 3 to 8 years.
£19.99, Party Delights
Book-loving, brilliant Matilda makes the perfect choice for World Book Day. This costume comes with an imitation book and a small newt, but feel free to add in your child's favourite read to keep them occupied in any idle moments in the playground! Sizes 4 to 14 years.
Prepare to take tea with a dormouse, a March Hare and Alice herself with this suitably eccentric Mad Hatter's costume. Vibrant colours, an oversized hat and a pocket watch ensure your child will be dressed for a wacky and wonderful day. Sizes 3 to 10 years.
The Tiger who came to tea
£19.99, Party Delights
This tiger won't take just one sandwich when you invite him round... he'll take all the sandwiches, and all the food in the cupboards, and even all the water in the tap! Relive Sophie's amazing encounter with the hungry tiger with this costume, perfect for fans of Judith Kerr's modern classic. One size (3 to 5 years).
Thing One or Thing Two
Take one child, add a red T-shirt and mad blue wig and voila', it's Dr Seuss' Thing One (or, Thing Two – the perfect costume for siblings). Sizes 3 to 8 years.
£14.99, Party Delights
Burglar Granny's clutching her swag in this all-in-one, long-sleeved pink and brown dress with white collar; the black mask is included in the costume but you'll need the grey wig to complete the law-breaking pensioner look. Sizes 6 to 12 years.
An alien (who might love underpants)
Add a few accessories of the frilly / spotty / stripey knickers variety and this alien all-in-one becomes an underpant-loving extra-terrestrial from the book by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort. Out of this world simple!
In Peter Pan the crocodile is Hook's nemesis, hungry for another taste of him after eating his arm. The crocodile pursues Hook everywhere, but has swallowed a ticking clock so Hook can hear it coming. Make a cardboard clock for your child to carry and this crocodile costume is complete and ready for Neverland! Sizes 4 to 9 years.
Playing card (from Alice in Wonderland)
£15.95, Pretend to Bee
Watch out for the Queen of Hearts if you want to keep your head... One size (3 to 7 years).
Make your own WorldBook Day costumes
You don't have to be a sewing-machine whizz to make a costume from scratch – honest! If you have the time, try one of our no-sew ideas:
- 12 no-sew book character costumes
- 12 no-sew Roald Dahl costume ideas
- 15 no-sew historical costumes
Boost Your Child's Learning Today!
- Start your child on a tailored learning programme
- Get weekly English & maths resources sent direct to your inbox
- Keep your child's learning on track