Go beyond Harry Potter and Dr Seuss with these book character costume ideas! If you want to dress up as a literary character for Halloween, you’ll find costume ideas that range from Captain Underpants to the Man in the Yellow Hat (from Curious George).
When Ted (the Man in the Yellow Hat) realizes his new best friend is a monkey, he says, “It is the same hat! And the same monkey! You followed me all the way from Africa? To Play peekaboo?”
This one story book alone – Curious George – is teeming with literary Halloween costume ideas! Miss Plushbottom, George, the cab driver, Bloomsberry…
Max from Where the Wild Things Are – For more book character costumes – including how to make Max from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – go to Conversation-Starting Halloween Costume Ideas. That’s where I found this wonderful image of Max!
Another set of book character costume ideas is from The Wizard of Oz. Check out the Tin Man Costume from BuyCostumes.com, or the The Wizard of Oz Scarecrow Costume. The Wizard of Oz is a classic book and movie, and a good choice for a book character costume idea.
Here are more Halloween costumes from books and literature to consider, for both kids and adults…
Book Character Costume Ideas
One of the tricks to finding the best Halloween costume is to buck the trend! Costumes from recently released movies – such as Alice and Wonderland, Harry Potter, and Iron Man – are very popular, and thus not very exciting. Same with Lady Gaga and Lindsay Lohan Halloween costumes…overdone! (Though they’re not exactly literary characters, are they?).
Instead, find book character costume ideas that are classic. Timeless. Fun! For instance…
The Princess Bride characters. Before it was a movie, The Princess Bride was (and still is) a riveting book by William Goldman. Possible Halloween costumes are Prince Humperdinck, Vizzini, Fezzik, Inigo Montoya, Westley, and of course the Princess Bride herself!
Paddington Bear is a polite immigrant from Peru – he comes equipped with his old hat, a battered suitcase, tattered duffle coat, and marmalade sandwiches. Paddington is a classic story book character costume idea from English children’s literature – and would work as both a boys or girls Halloween costume.
Hannibal Lecter is based on a novel by Thomas Harris (Red Dragon). Lecter is a literary costume for adults who have exquisite taste, are well read, surround themselves with beauty, and enjoy dining on a rich Bordeaux with human kidneys or brains.
Anne of Green Gables is a feisty, funny and passionate girl – and would be a great book character Halloween costume for both women and girls! This literary character by LM Montgomery is a red-haired, freckle-faced orphan who faces the world with personality and a joie de vivre that few can match.
The Paper Bag Princess is a creative Halloween costume for girls and women. This character is based on Robert Munsch’s children’s book – which involves dragons, kingdoms, princes, forests, and self-actualization. This is one of my favorite books, and an easy book character costume idea to dress up in.
Romeo and Juliet – who could leave Shakespeare out of a list of famous literary characters that inspire Halloween costume ideas? If you need a couples’ Halloween costume, Romeo and Juliet is an obvious choice! Other characters in this famous play are Mercutio, Tybalt, Juliet’s nurse, the friars, and Paris. Other Shakespearean characters in different plays include Hamlet, Henry V, Julius Caesar, Othello, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra…..and Shakespeare himself, of course!
Any Dr Seuss character would make a great book character costume, especially if you avoid the popular (overdone?) Cat in the Hat Halloween costume. There are so many creatures to choose from in the Dr Seuss story books that would make fantastic Halloween costumes, such as the Blue Fish, the Doorman of Solla Sollew, the Family from Who-Ville, Gertrude McFuzz, Horton, Star-Bellied Sneetch, King Loonie Katz, and the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, of course!
More Book Character Costume Ideas
- Curious George
- Man in the Yellow Hat
- Nancy Drew
- Tom Sawyer
- Huckleberry Finn
- Captain Underpants
- Winnie the Pooh book characters
- Ramona Quimby
- Wizard of Oz book characters
- Little Boy Blue
- Disney characters
- Paul Bunyan
- Amelia Bedelia
- Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Harry Potter characters
- Pippi Longstocking
- Mary Poppins book characters
- Marie Antoinette
- Little Bo Peep
- Jack and the Beanstalk
- Willy Wonka
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book characters
- Hobbit book characters
If these book character costume ideas didn’t catch your eye, go to the
Changed your mind about dressing up as a literary character? Dress up as a taco instead! Food Costumes to Make at Home.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.