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World Book Day 2021 costume ideas – A bumper list of characters for early years, primary and secondary

Do you or your students need inspiration for your character getup this year? Read this list of famous literary characters and pick your fave...

  • World Book Day 2021 costume ideas – A bumper list of characters for early years, primary and secondary

We all love a bit of World Book Day dress-up. But you did Harry Potter last year, Where’s Wally? the year before and you already used your witch costume at Halloween so you can’t just wear that and pass it off as a Meg and Mog outfit (plus, your cat won’t appreciate being roped in as a prop and dragged to class).

You don’t want to be the person who’s put in waaaaaaaaaay too much effort, this isn’t Comic Con. But you also don’t want to be the teacher who came up with their idea five minutes ago in the staff room.


So, we’ve done the grunt work for you and your students with this huge list of famous books and characters that might make for good costume ideas.

We’ve tried to break it up into loose categories by age/genre/popular book series/whatever-yeah-we-know-this-book-doesn’t-belong-with-that-book-but-there’s-a-lot-of-crossover-and-we-didn’t-really-know-where-to-put-it-OK?, and we’ve even found how-to guides for making some of the costumes. Just follow the links:

Ideas for younger readers


Popular books and series

Harry Potter


More Harry Potter ideas
  • Voldemort
  • Sirius Black
  • Dolores Umbridge
  • Professor Trelawney
  • Newt Scamander
  • Luna Lovegood
  • Rita Skeeter
  • Moaning Myrtle
The Lord of The Rings

  • Gandalf
  • Frodo Baggins
  • Samwise Gamgee
  • Gollum
  • Aragorn
  • Legolas
  • Gimli
  • Galadriel
  • Thorin Oakenshield
The Chronicles of Narnia

The Hunger Games
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Peter Pan

Popular authors

Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charles Dickens
  • Oliver
  • Bill Sykes
  • Artful Dodger
  • Fagin
  • Scrooge
  • Estella
  • Miss Havisham
Dr Seuss
  • Cat in the Hat
  • The Grinch
  • Sam-I-Am (from Green Eggs and Ham)
  • The Lorax
  • Fox in Socks

Fairy and folk tales (and other characters mostly popularised by Disney)

  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Hansel and Gretel
  • Cinderella
  • Snow White
  • The Seven Dwarfs
  • Rapunzel
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Prince Charming
  • Aladdin
  • Pinocchio
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Cruella Deville from 101 Dalmations


  • Charlie and Lola
  • Horrid Henry or Perfect Peter
  • Tracy Beaker
  • Paddington bear
  • Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and other Beatrix Potter characters
  • Ratty, Mole, Ratty, Mr Toad and other The Wind in the Willows characters
  • Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore and friends
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • The Super Zeroes from Kid Normal
  • Tin Tin
  • Asterix & Obelisk
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer
  • Atticus Finch, Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Harriet the Spy
  • The Jungle Book
  • Mary Poppins
  • Goth Girl
  • Coraline
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Max or a Wild Thing from Where The Wild Things Are
  • Alex Rider
  • Percy Jackson
  • Lyra Belacqua from His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

For older readers

  • Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson
  • Precious Ramotswe from The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency
  • Saleem Sinai from Midnight’s Children
  • Celie from The Colour Purple
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Dr Frankenstein or The Monster from Frankenstein
  • Dracula
  • Little Women
  • Geek Girl

Classic literature

Jane Austen characters
  • Elizabeth Bennett
  • Mr Darcy
Brontë sisters characters
  • Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester
  • Emily Brontë: Catherine and Heathcliff
  • Anne Brontë (AKA the best Brontë): Credit to anyone who goes as Agnes Grey (AKA the best Brontë character)

Real life

  • Mo Farah – Ready Steady Mo
  • Floella Benjamin – Coming to England
  • Malala Yousafzai – How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

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