Mother and Baby

World Book Day costume ideas for babies, children and grown-ups

Best world book day costumes

Want to bring your little one's favourite storybook to life? World Book Day is the perfect opportunity to get your family reading more, dressing up and all-round having fun. 

We've enlisted the help of shopping experts here at Mother&Baby to bring you the best World Book Day costume ideas for babies, children and grown-ups. 

When is World Book Day 2021?

It’s World Book Day 2021 on March 4th, if you're searching for a last-minute World Book Day costume, then we've found something for every member of your growing family. Cute!

Yes, you heard us right, from a Very Hungry Caterpillar to a Fantastic Mr Fox, we’ve rounded up the best costumes for babies, toddlers, school kids and grown-ups to dress up in and let their imaginations run wild. 

More from Mother&Baby

World Book Day 2021 costumes ideas for the whole family: 

Now that you have all the information you need about this year's World Book Day, it's time to discover all of our favourite outfits, accessories and more.

Best World Book Day costumes for babies

How adorable is this lion costume? Not only will your baby will look incredible as the Cowardly Lion, but imagine how fun it'll be if you dressed the whole family as characters from The Wizard of OZ. 

With giant 3D ears and covered in beautiful, bright patchwork colours, this very cute Elmer costume will make sure your baby stands out at play group! This all in one also comes complete with a cosy hood to keep them extra warm.

This adorable sleepsuit is perfect for very little ones who will spend most of their World Book Day sleeping. With it's fun design and soft cotton fabric, it's the ideal costume for babies.

Who doesn't love the Roald Dahl book Matilda? Your baby girl will look adorable in this Matilda costume that comes complete with a blue tutu and red bow headband. Available from 6 months - 12 months.

Your little one will be going to infinity and beyond in this super cool sleepsuit. Ideal for very little ones, the soft cotton, easy fastenings and long sleeves mean your baby can be warm and comfortable while celebrating World Book Day.

Add some Disney magic to World Book Day with this beautiful princess Snow White dress. With comfortable cotton design plus a mesh skirt overlay and pretty red bow headband, this costume will also be perfect for any first fancy dress parties. 

This adorable Spot the Dog costume is the ultimate cosy costume. The yellow all-in-one comes with a soft hat to keep your little one warm. The costume is available in 6-9 months and 9-12 months.

Best World Book Day costumes for children

Mr Fox costume

£14.52 - RRP: £14.99

Expect ALL kinds of mischief when they put on this Fantastic Mr Fox costume. Mr Fox is always a dapper chap, so this outfit consists of a jacket, neckerchief and mask. It’s all very smart but it’s comfortable, too. Plus, the jacket comes with faux fur chest.

A costume that’s really supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. As well as the famous flying nanny’s buttoned-up Edwardian dress and blouse, the look is finished off perfectly with a floral hat that would definitely get Mary’s seal of approval. The only thing missing? You need to provide your own umbrella for travelling purposes. 

The BFG costume

£20.48 - RRP: £28.00

As soon as you see those big ears, it’s easy to guess who this outfit is supposed to be. Change little kids into Big Friendly Giants with an impressive headband as well as comfy trousers, a top complete with waist coat design and dream trumpet.

Let their imaginations really take off as they step into the magic of Wonderland with this sweet Alice outfit. Of course, this costume has her trademark black headband and apron, but there are other little details that will delight fans, like the fun collar and puff sleeves.

Transform your little ones into a Very Hungry Caterpillar with this adorable padded velour and satin costume. It comes complete with a red hood and antennae and has a Velcro fastening, making it easy for them to crawl in and out of.

If your kids are addicted to David Walliams’ hilarious books, this costume of Gangsta Granny, the international jewellery thief, might be right up their street. As well as Granny’s violet top and sparkley top, the outfit includes a grey-haired wig, pearl necklace, glasses and an eye mask. Fortunately, a can of Granny’s cabbage soup isn’t part of the look!

This Peter Rabbit outfit comprises of the rabbit’s trademark blue jacket, but the good news is that it’s all an all-in-one so there’s no chance of losing anything at the bottom of the dressing up box. The hood also comes attached and is made from a soft fleece to keep your little ones cosy and looking cute.

Let your kids delve right into the weird and wonderful world of Dr Seuss with this Cat In The Hat outfit. This cosy velour all-in-one really brings the character to life and comes with a striped top hat and an oversized removable bow tie.

Take a trip to Oz and along its Yellow Brick Road with this adorable Dorothy outfit. It includes hair ties, so you can create Dorothy’s two plaits, a lace-trim gingham dress and matching blouse. You need to provide your own ruby slippers (or nab some off an unsuspecting wicked witch).

Let your child channel their inner Disney Princess with this sparkly mermaid fancy dress costume. They'll love going to school in their fishtail dress and matching shell headband.

It's arguably the most popular franchise in the world and even though Star Wars didn't start out as a book. But, there have been many books realised since the first film was released. So, it counts right? And, how cute will your little one look as a Storm Trooper - very!

Best World Book Day costumes for adults

Join in on the fun with this practically perfect Mary Poppins costume. The long dress also comes with the iconic daisy hat to make sure you're the best dressed grown-up on World Book Day.

Pull on this Harry Potter cloak for a simple and effortless World Book Day costume. The costume even comes complete with the iconic Harry Potter glasses and wand to make sure you really look the part.

Inspired by the tale of Robin Hood, this medieval style Maid Marion costume will look great this world book day. The burgundy dress also comes complete with the Maid Marion headpiece for the perfect finishing touch.

Ideal for the dads that want to get involved, this Mad Hatter costume from Alice in Wonderland comes with the jacket, trousers and hat to make the perfect Mad Hatter look!

Go to town this World Book Day with this Miss Trunchbull costume. The iconic Roald Dahl character costume comes complete with the coat, legwarmers and eyebrow - just be careful not to scare too many children!

With a knee length dress and and red cape that ties at the top with ribbon, this Little Red Riding hood costume makes the ideal World Book Day costume for any grown-up.

Looking for DIY ideas? 

Left it to the last-minute and need a DIY option? There are plenty of costumes you can create using things you already have in the home!

Where's Wally?

All you need for this look is a pair of unwanted glasses, a red and white striped top, a bobble hat (ideally in white) and a pair of blue trousers or jeans. Kids could even wear a blue or denim skirt if you have white and red stripped tights. 

Chimney Sweep 

Find some dull clothes from the small bag that you no longer want and start distressing them by making them look out of shape, ripped and dirty.

Brown, grey and black clothes work best for chimney sweep costumes and you could look like an extra from Oliver Twist or Mary Poppins! Use spots of black or brown powder make up on the face to create the soot effect and add a baker boy hat to complete the look. You could even find a prop that resembles a sweep! 

Mildred Hubble

Got a witches hat somewhere that you often pull out for Halloween? Use it to recreate the look of Mildred Hubble from the popular book series, The Worst Witch. Find a grey school pinafore, black tights, white school shirt, stripy tie and pull over a DIY black cape and your little one will look fit to attend Miss Cackle's Acadamy for Witches in no time. 

Mr Bump

We've all got bandages from the first aid box in the house! Recreate the look of the iconic Mr Bump from the Mr Men series by dressing up your child in a blue outfit before wrapping up their head and midriff with bandages! 

Queen of Hearts

You'll need a pack of cards for this costume! Find a black or red dress in your childs wardrobe - ideally one that they may not wear again and start to stick the heart cards onto the dress. You could even make a funky collar for the dress out of the cards! If you have a bit more time to spare, you could even stitch some hearts onto the dress too. For the crown, use any playing cards or even better some shiny gold card if you have any. Complete the look by taking inspiration from Helena Bonham-Carter's Queen of Hearts make-up from the 2010 Alice in Wonderland film with lipstick shaped as a heart and bright blue eyeshadow! 

Very First Story Time

Books to inspire your World Book Day costume ideas 

  1. Roald Dahl books have plenty of characters in to get you inspired, from Willy Wonka to Miss Trunchbull 
  2. The Mr Men series provides plenty of costume ideas for parents. 
  3. The Winnie the Pooh series has plenty of iconic characters for little ones to dress up as
  4. There are so many weird and wonderful Harry Potter characters to get inspired by

Got any photos of your tots to send us? We'd love to see them! Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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Charlotte is an award-winning journalist who's interviewed six Oscar winners, a Greek princess and a Cbeebies presenter.

She's written for GLAMOUR, Vogue, Stylist and The Independent during her career, and, though she writes about beautiful children's clothes, her own two children refuse to wear them.

She likes sunshine and log burners but not at the same time.  


Other contributors

Lily Anderson - Senior Commercial Content Writer

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