25 Clever and Creative KidLit-Inspired Halloween Costumes Your Kids Will Love

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25 Clever and Creative KidLit-Inspired Halloween Costumes Your Kids Will Love

Halloween is approaching, so it’s time to start thinking about costumes! If your kids are big readers and fans of children’s books, a KidLit-inspired costume may be a fun and unique idea. From classics like The Very Hungry Caterpillar to newer favorites like Pete the Cat, we’ve rounded up 25 clever KidLit costume ideas that your kids will adore. These creative looks are also budget-friendly and easy to DIY. Before we begin, please take a moment to pin this post to your KidLit board.

KidLit Inspired Costumes

KidLit costumes beyond just Halloween

While Halloween is a popular time for book-inspired costumes, dressing up as your favorite children’s literature character can be fun all year round! For kids, transforming into a beloved book character helps bring their imagination to life. Seeing their favorite stories come to life through costumes builds excitement and engagement with reading. For parents and teachers, literary costumes tap into nostalgia and are a creative way to model reading. Having a dress-up day at school as a character from a class reading assignment encourages students to connect more deeply with the book. Costumes also make excellent book week activities and book parades. So don’t reserve the book dress up just for Halloween – explore the magic of children’s stories any time with clever KidLit-inspired costumes.

DIY The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle Costume

Let your child channel the beloved caterpillar from this classic story who eats his way through various foods on each page. Use green construction paper or paint paper plates in various shades of green. Staple them together to cover their body. Then create an Antennae headband. You can also make cutouts of different foods like strawberries, oranges, a slice of cake, and more for your little caterpillar to enjoy.

DIY Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin Costume

Hip cat Pete, with his blue fur and cool button-down, is a favorite costume. Pair a yellow shirt with a pair of blue pants. You can wear a blue long-sleeved shirt under a yellow T-shirt or just a long-sleeved yellow shirt. Then, using construction paper or felt, you can create four colorful buttons for Pete’s shirt. You can also make a cat ear headband or mask with the felt or construction paper.

DIY The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister Costume

 With its beautiful foiled scales, Rainbow Fish will make a sparkly costume for your kid. Use a blue shirt and leggings as a base, and some felt and fabric scales sewn onto the t-shirt with tull fabric on sleeves for fins. The same material used to create a tail on the back

DIY Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss Costume

Sam-I-Am’s persistence pays off when he convinces his grumpy friend to try the offbeat green eggs and ham. Grab a yellow shirt and white pants/leggings. Make a hat with the red felt or fabric, and add some yellow triangles to the bottom of the shirt. With Green and white felt/material, you can create your green eggs and ham dish!

DIY The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle Costume

Buzzing around with a jar, Firefly is looking for light. Create a black shirt and pants outfit decorated with glow-in-the-dark paint splotches or fairy lights. Add construction paper wings, antennae, and jar. Or follow the fantastic tutorial from KENARRY. Your child will light up the night in this costume!

DIY Corduroy by Don Freeman Costume

The classic teddy bear in green overalls and a missing button is simple to recreate with brown clothing and felt. Create teddy bear ears as a headband or a hat. Don’t forget Corduroy’s signature green overalls; you can draw on the button or create a fabric to pin on.

DIY Madeline By Ludwig Bemelmans Costume

Madeline is known for her bright yellow hat and blue dress uniform. Piece together the look with a blue dress, white blouse, red bow, white socks, black slippers, and a yellow straw hat.

DIY The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein Costume

Have your child channel the beloved tree from this heartwarming book. Wear a green T-shirt, and add green felt or fabric leaves. Plastic apples attached to the shirt are also a good addition. Pair it with brown pants and a brown long-sleeved shirt under the green t-shirt for the tree’s trunk and branches.

DIY The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle Costume

This busy little spider weaved a fantastic web that different farm animals tried to distract her from. Dress in all black with a black beanie. Add pipe cleaner legs and googly eyes to your beanie.

DIY If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff Costume

This is a clever take on the circular consequences of giving a mouse a cookie. Dress in a white shirt, overalls, and mouse ears, nose, and whiskers. Print out a “mouse cookie” on paper or cardboard, sew a cookie stuffy, or make a bag as a prop.

DIY Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak Costume

Let your child’s imagination run wild as the mischievous Max. Use a white sweatshirt with a hood and sweatpants, and add claws, a crown, and a tail. You can follow this fantastic tutorial from Sara.

DIY The Lorax by Dr. Seuss Costume

Speak for the trees by going as The Lorax! Grab an orange sweatshirt and sweatpants, add yellow felt eyebrows and mustache, and you are ready to spread the word.

DIY Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson Costume

Clever Harold goes on an adventure using nothing but his trusty purple crayon to draw his surroundings. A blue onesie is all you need to make this costume work, and of course a purple crayon. Add a drawing of Harold’s imagination.

DIY The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss Costume

No KidLit costume list is complete without The Cat in the Hat with his iconic red and white striped hat and bowtie. Pair a black long-sleeved shirt or T-shirt with black pants. Use a white piece of fabric or felt and attach it to the chest of the black shirt for a belly. Don’t forget a tail. Use face paint for whiskers, a black nose, and some mischievous tricks up your sleeve.

DIY Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. Costume

The lowercase letters climb up the coconut tree one by one in this alphabet classic. Dress in brown with painted-on or glued letters and green leaves.

DIY Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney Costume

Llama Llama’s anxiety over being away from Mama Llama for the first time is totally relatable for kids. Use a red pajama outfit and make a llama mask or hat.

DIY Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems Costume

Pigeon really, really wants to do one thing – drive the bus! Grab a light blue sweatshirt. Use grey, white, yellow, and soft blue fabric or felt and a black fabric marker to create the details of the pigeon, including his eyes and blue clothing, and a pigeon beak and wings. Make a cardboard bus to complete the look.

DIY Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor Costume

Nancy loves everything fancy, from her elaborate outfits to her impressive vocabulary. Sparkle up any dress with embellishments and accessorize with plenty of colorful patterns and textures.

DIY The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch Costume

When a dragon destroys her castle and captures her prince, Princess Elizabeth slays the dragon wearing only a paper bag. Craft a gown or crown from paper bags. Add a dragon prop.

DIY Curious George by H.A. Rey Costume

That adorable and ever-curious monkey will be easily recreated with a DIY monkey costume or yellow shirt and pants and, of course, a yellow hat.

DIY Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina Costume

The peddler woke from a nap to find monkeys stealing his caps! Dress as the peddler selling caps, and make sure to stack hats on top of one another.

DIY Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson Costume

Bring this iconic comic duo to life with your costumes. For Calvin, wear a red striped shirt with black pants and a spiky blond wig. Carry around a stuffed tiger as Hobbes. Use cardboard to make Calvin’s Spaceman Spiff helmet or transmogrifier box. Capture the spirit of this adventurous pair!

DIY James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl Costume

James escapes from his terrible aunts inside a magical giant peach! To portray James, wear jeans, a plaid shirt, and glasses if needed. Add a paper stem hat or paint a giant peach slice on a shirt. For an extra twist, dress as one of the oversized insect friends like Miss Spider, Centipede, or Ladybug using vivid colors, leggings, antennae and wings.

DIY Matilda by Roald Dahl Costume

Matilda uses her magical powers to stand up to her parents and the terrible school principal, Ms. Trunchbull. For Matilda, wear a blue dress and red ribbon in your hair like the book character. Carry around a stack of books since Matilda loves reading.

DIY Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers Costume

Step in Time into Halloween as the beloved magical nanny! For Mary, wear a blue dress or blouse, black skirt, gloves, hat, and red bow tie. Carry a parrot head umbrella.

More Creative KidLit Costumes

The book possibilities are endless for clever Halloween costumes. Other fun ideas include dressing as characters from Holes by Louis Sachar, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, or as historical figures featured in biographies. Look for book titles tied to school curriculum or popular new releases. Get the whole family involved to showcase your favorite stories. Let your imagination run wild!

Share Your Costumes!

We hope these KidLit-inspired costume ideas sparked your creativity for an unforgettable Halloween! Once your DIY costumes are complete, we’d love to see them. Share photos of your little book characters on social media and tag us! Or if you come up with any other unique bookish costumes, post those too. We may feature them in a future blog post or on social media.

The Possibilities Are Endless

Aren’t these literary costumes amazing? Children’s book characters make such memorable Halloween disguises. There are so many more beautiful ideas on our KidLit Inspired Costumes Pinterest board too. We handpicked these creative homemade options with simple tutorials to get you started. The wonderful world of children’s literature offers endless inspiration for fun costumes. Explore our Pinterest board for a full list of ideas to celebrate your favorite stories and characters this Halloween!


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