CBCA Artwork by Anna Walker

Each year across Australia, the CBCA brings children and books together celebrating CBCA Book Week. During this time schools, libraries, and booksellers celebrate Australian Children’s Literature with author events, amazing book displays and every parent’s favourite; the annual Book Week parade.

If you’re anything like me you are usually trying to find a costume the night before the parade with whatever items you have in the house.  I have to admit I am quite crafty so the storeroom is usually choc-o-block filled with craft and sewing items which is helpful. However, being able to sew is not essential to come up with a Book Week costume. If you can use a glue gun you are on your way to creating a spectacular costume for your child.

Although Book Week usually comes with a theme, kids can go as any character from any kids books. This year’s theme is ‘Find Your Treasure’ which could include books like ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson to ‘Ollie’s Treasure’ by Lynn Jenkins.

Tips and Hints

  1. Don’t stress. We are all busy parents so if you have a costume at home you can adapt to a particular book…great!
  2. If you want to get a little more creative but are a little stuck on what to do, head over to pinterest for some great costume ideas.
  3. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. There are a lot of costume shops charging a lot of money for a simple costume but you can do it on the cheap with a little planning. Hot Dollar Shops are ideal for picking up cheap hats and accessories.
  4. Use your creative skills. Can you sew or most importantly own a glue gun? I fortunately have sewing skills but a glue gun is just as easy to stick a costume together. Think about other materials you could put together for a costume. A few years back I made a sandwich board style costume out of cardboard when I created a Flat Stanley costume for my son.
  5. Accessorise. Think of book characters that are distinctive by the accessory they carry. We had clothing very similar to Charlie Bucket so I all had to do to make it known who my son was going to be was to create a giant WONKA Bar.  Done…
  6. Re-Use. Two years in a row we used the same dress for different characters. I just had to add a couple of alterations and a new book character was formed. From Olivia the Pig to Veruca Salt.
  7.  Don’t feel the pressure: I understand there is a lot of pressure to create an amazing costume for your child, but kids don’t care…just as long as they are dressed in something for the Book Week parade.

Take inspiration from the Book Depository’s Top 10 Kids Books

  1. Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different
  2. Have You Filled A Bucket Today?
  3. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
  4. Wonder
  5. Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World
  6. Dear Zoo
  7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  8. Beautiful Oops!
  9. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls 2
  10. The Wonderful Things you will Be

Costume ideas

Put together costumes from clothes you have in your wardrobe and just add cardboard accessories

Use same red dress as previous year with additional of felt cuffs and collar.

Use clothes you have in your closest to re-create costumes from book movies!

The sewing machine comes in handy if you can use it! 

Use props like wands and posters to identify book character!

Found some tinsel pom poms at two dollar shop to create the mane for Thelma the Unicorn!