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

world-book-day

by Samantha Ball |
Updated on

Want to bring your little one's favourite children's book to life? World Book Day is the perfect opportunity to get your family reading more, dressing up and all-round having fun. We have ideas for World Book Day costumes for adults, to the littlest member of your family, so everyone can get involved.

Whether you or your child are a fan of classic children's books or picture books, 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.

Best at a glance:

Best overall World Book Day costume: Avocado Shaped Bodysuit Costume, £10.99

Best babies World Book Day costume: Spot the Dog Baby Costume, £13.99

Best toddlers World book day costume: Lion costume, £20.99

Best adult World book day costume: Where's Wally costume, £25.77

When is World Book Day 2024?

It’s World Book Day 2024 on Thursday 7 March, so if you're getting ahead on your search for a World Book Day costume, then we've found something for every member of your growing family.

From a Very Hungry Caterpillar to a Fantastic Mr Fox, we’ve rounded up the best World Book Day costumes for babies, toddlers, school kids and grown-ups to dress up in and let their imaginations run wild.

World Book Day 2024 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 for babies World Book Day costume

Best Spot the Dog Costume
Spot the Dog baby costume
Price: £13.99 (was £22.99)

www.smiffys.com

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.

Available in sizes: 6-9 months and 9-12 months.

One review said: "A perfect outfit to celebrate world book day for my baby! I got 6-9m and he’s only 5 and a half months so it was a little big but a pair of socks and rolled up sleeves sorted us out!"

Pros

  • Sleepsuit design
  • Poppers for easy changing

Cons

  • Broad sizing

Best creative World Book Day costume

Best Avocado Baby Costume

More a play on words than an actual character, but this costume is inspired by the Avocado Baby book written by John Burningham. It's super sweet costume idea and as a bonus it's a cosy romper.

Available in sizes: 0-6 months, 6-12 months and 12-18 months

Pros

  • Zipper front
  • Stylish design to make your baby more attracted to it

Cons

  • Tights are not included

Best detachable hoodie World Book Day costume

Best Lion Costume

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.

Available in sizes: 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-24 months and 2-3 years

One review said: "Used this for my babies first Halloween costume. He was 4 months and I bought 0-6 months. Was a little big around the neck and the head piece was too big but he still looked cute"

Pros

  • Made from soft materials
  • This costume features a lion face hood and a jumpsuit with lion tail, red bow and matching paw booties

Cons

  • Lion head is a little big

Best 3D World Book Day costume

Best Baby Elmer Costume

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. It's an all in one design that also comes complete with a cosy hood with ear features.

Available in sizes: 9-12 months

One review said: "So cute! Sizes were spot on - granddaughter happy to wear it all day. Very well made"

Pros

  • Hooded romper
  • Accurate sizing

Cons

  • Material is thin and hand wash only

Best nature World Book Day costume

Best Hungry Caterpillar Costume

Who doesn't love the Hungry Caterpillar? This sweet costume is an apron-style design, so it can be layered over your childs own clothes.

Available in sizes: 3-5 years

One review said: "Got this as a last minute fancy dress outfit for my petit 4 year old. Fitted perfectly. And the hat was cute too."

Pros

  • Broad sizing selection
  • Easy to layer on top of clothing

Cons

  • May not be ideal if your child does not like insects

Best princess World Book Day costume

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.

Available in sizes: 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 9-12 months and 12-18 months

One review said: "I got this outfit for my daughter (5 months old) and to say she was complimented on it is an understatement. It was so refreshing to get an outfit other than the usual pumpkin or skeleton ones. The colours are super vibrant and I paired it with some yellow tights as it was cold."

Pros

  • Bodysuit design
  • Cotton bodice with round neckline and short puff sleeves

Cons

  • Dress isn't stretchy

Best wildlife World Book Day costume

Best Multi-Character Costume
tiger-costume
Price: $34.95

An all-in-one costume that can be worn as the Tiger from the popular book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea or Shere Khan from Jungle Book. It's a zip design so it's easy to wear, and there's enough room for some light clothing underneath.

Available in sizes: 4-6 years, 7-9 years, 10-12 years and 12-14 years

One review said: "My 6 year old son wanted to go as Shere Khan from the jungle book on world book day. I ordered age 6-8 as my son is slim but tall. He was really happy with it when it arrived and I was pleased that it fit perfectly with plenty of room to wear a t-shirt and shorts underneath as it is on the thin side. The tail was a little too long but overall it was a great costume. It washed really well in the washing machine on a gentle cycle and the eyes/nose didn't come off."

Pros

  • Can be any tiger character
  • Comfortable fit

Cons

  • Tail is attached by velcro

Best magical World Book Day costume

Best Wizard Costume

You can't go wrong with a Harry Potter costume! Everyone's favourite wizard is a great choice for a costume for World Book Day.

Available in sizes: 5-6 years, 7-8 years, 9-10 years and 11-12 years

One review said: "Great quality costume. Fit my son perfectly and he loved the wand and glasses too. The tie has an elastic tie back with velcro, really handy for children."

Pros

  • Can be worn with own clothes
  • Easy to get on and off

Cons

  • It's a popular costume choice

Best imaginative World Book Day costume

Best Mr Fox Costume

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.

Available in sizes: 3-4 years and 5-6 years

One review said: "Good quality fancy dress - I bought this for World Book Day. Fits well and the material is of good quality. There is just one overcoat that has the waistcoat and the fur stitched onto it. The cravat and the mask are separate - the cravat attaches with a velcro seal. The only let-down is the mask - my kid is unable to wear the mask over glasses and has to take off the glasses while wearing the mask."

Pros

  • Outfit all attached for ease
  • Comes with mask and neckscarf accessories

Cons

  • Mask not suitable to be worn with glasses

Best Roald Dahl World Book Day costume

Best BFG Costume

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.

Available in sizes: 7-9 years, 10-12 years and 12+ years

One review said: "I bought this costume for my Son to wear to school for Roald Dahl Day. He looked absolutely brilliant in it! Bought a brown hooded cape to go with, which finished off the costume outfit perfectly. Great quality, value for money, and easy to wear."

Pros

  • Trumpet and ear accessories
  • Comfortable to wear

Cons

  • The ears are easy to break

Best snug World Book Day costume

Best Peter Rabbit Costume

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.

Available in sizes: 4-6 years and 7-9 years

One review said: "Lovely outfit for world book day. We went for the smaller size as by little boy is a small age 6 year old. It fitted him Lovely."

Pros

  • Includes Peter Rabbit deluxe costume, blue, with jumpsuit, hooded character head & jacket
  • Attached hood with ears

Cons

  • Tail is a little loose

Best humour World Book Day costume

Best Dr Seuss Costume

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.

Available in sizes: 3-4 years, 4-6 years, 6-8 years, 8-10 years, 10-12 years and 12-14 years

One review said: "My little one absolutely loved this, great feel and fit. Overall great value when you need a last minute world book day costume."

Pros

  • Comfortable to wear, includes bowtie and tail
  • All-in-one design

Cons

  • Hat is a little big

Best adventurous World Book Day costume

Best Mad Hatter Costume

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!

Pros

  • Comes with hat accessory
  • Creative

Cons

  • No reviews

Best musical comedy World Book Day costume

Best Mary Poppins Costume
Mary Poppins costume

Rrp: $52.62

Price: $43.17

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.

One review said: "I'm 6ft tall and this costume is ideal. The skirt is very long and jacket sleeves too. It arrived quite creased but easy to iron. I had many compliments and will definitely be wearing again for another occasion hopefully."

Pros

  • Comfortable to wear: Includes victorian nanny costume, blue, with jacket with mock shirt, skirt and hat
  • Good quality matieral

Cons

  • Skirt is long

Best funny World Book Day costume

Where's Wally costume
Price: $41.38

This Where's Wally? Wenda costume will have you joining in on the fun. You could be a teacher or a parent who just wants to celebrate World Book Day, and if you love creativity and enjoyed trying to find Wally in the books, then this is for you.

One review said: "This was a gimmick fancy dress outfit for my husbands brothers stag do!! The outfit was slightly big so would recommend ordering smaller if ordered for a man!! Excellent condition, came with long sleeve shirt, glasses, hat and skirt and made all the stags laugh their heads off!! Good party or fancy dress outfit would highly recommend."

Pros

  • Lightweight material
  • Including: top, skirt, glasses, tights & hat, red and white striped top and tights with blue pencil skirt

Cons

  • One review said the skirt is slight transparent

Best for Dennis the Menace fans

This Dennis the Menace World book Day costume, will have you stand out with creativity and humour. With a stunning and fashonable wig, paired with a top and shorts, you will feel the celebration and will be able to re-live your childhood storybook memories.

One review said: "Went down really well. I’m 5ft 8 of medium build and although the top was slightly bagging it looked great. I just got a pair of socks and I was sorted."

Pros

  • Includes costume and wig
  • Great for Dennis the Menace fans

Cons

  • One review said the badge on the shorts came off in the wash

World Book Day FAQs

Do I need to buy a costume?

If you are quite crafty or know your child isn't a big fan of dressing up outfits, 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 Academy 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.

Samantha Ball is a Commercial Content Writer and freelanced for the Mother&Baby website for two years before joining the team full-time. She's a mum of two and loves browsing for the best products and cute outfits.

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