18 Halloween Costume Ideas Inspired By Favorite Books

These days, many kids choose their Halloween costumes based on their favorite t.v. and movie characters. That means that this year, you’ll probably see a lot of Elsas from Frozen, minions from Despicable Me, turtles from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Pirate Jakes from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. So, why not instead turn your child to their favorite books for inspiration? Many of the most beloved children’s book characters have a whole series of books built around them. Therefore, one potential perk of dressing your child as one of these characters is that it might even give them a little motivational boost to try out a newer (or older) book in the series!  And–getting your child to read more is always a win-win situation, right?

Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss books are classic childhood staples. Sure, this means there are often a lot of Cat in the Hat costumes running around each year, but we think it’s no reason to turn away from some of the other Seuss characters. A classic sibling costume comes in the form of Thing One and Thing Two! These zany characters from The Cat in the Hat are a favorite of many kids. Join your kids in a little mischievious fun as they bounce around like Thing One and Thing Two for Halloween night.

Although The Lorax was made into a feature length film, we think the book in this case is definitely better. If this is one of your child’s favorites, why not dress up as the Lorax himself?  Plus–there’s a bonus feature to this costume–you can encourage your child to wear it again in honor of Earth Day! We think both of these options for young kids and for babies from Etsy are pretty cute.

Ladybug Girl

The Ladybug Girl series is a favorite of ours. If these books have not yet made it into your home, we encourage you to give them a try. Make sure not to leave out Ladybug Girl’s dog, Bingo, from the fun with this cute stuffed plush toy.

There has even been a spin-off series by the same author and illustrator team to create Bumblebee Boy–a series all about Ladybug Girl’s friend from her “bug squad.”

Where The Wild Things Are

Who doesn’t love Max and his monster friends from Where The Wild Things Are? We found some great costume options for this book from both Etsy and Amazon for purchase.

Max; Owl


Most kids love to dress up as animals. What child wouldn’t love to dress up as this beloved BIG RED dog?


Olivia is a character that delights both young and old. We think both the illustrated character and the costume for little humans are equally adorable.

Nancy Drew

We couldn’t find a specific all-in-one Nancy Drew costume, but it’s pretty easy to assemble one.  All you need are a magnifying glass, a flashlight, and one of Nancy’s signature jumper dresses and your child will be ready to solve any Halloween mystery.

(and we think this blacklight flashlight makes for extra Hallween fun!)

Where’s Waldo

Waldo and Wenda can be fun costumes for both kids and adults because the joke of finding Waldo or Wenda in a croud of people never seems to get old! This costume is a pretty easy DIY, but we were able to find some inexpensive pre-made costumes if you’re short on time this year.

Eric Carle

Eric Carle is another classic children’s author whose artwork is at least as recognizable as his book titles. There are so many books to choose from, but for Halloween, we went with two of his earliest classic books.  The Hungry Caterpillar is an iconic Eric Carle character and makes a cute costume for your little one.

Hopefully your little one won’t be too grouchy on Halloween pretending to be The Grouchy Ladybug. We think this costume is just about as cute as the original story.

Splat the Cat

Black cats are almost synonymous with Halloween.  However, Splat the Cat isn’t just any old black cat.  Splat is one silly scaredy-cat guaranteed to make you and your child laugh.


If you have a child that loves pink, princesses, and/or fairies, then you’re probably familiar with the book series about Pinkalicious. Take a break from Disney princesses and try dressing up as this beloved book character this year instead.


Madeline is an example of a costume that your child might just be able to pull off all year round! Her cute blue dress and yellow hat would also be an adorable outfit come springtime–especially paired with some little yellow boots!

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

We know this isn’t the original story about The Three Little Pigs, but it’s one of our favorites. Kids and adults love the shift in perspective listening to the Big Bad Wolf tell his side of the story.  It’s probably not a bad life lesson for us all to practice listening to other points of view either!

Though many of the characters and books mentioned here have been made into their own t.v. series and/or movies, we think these are all examples of characters best captured in their original book form. Would you agree that’s the case for many movies and shows based on books? What other characters do you think would make for great Halloween costumes? Let us know in the comments and what your child plans to wear for Halloween this year.

Want some more Halloween ideas? Check out these other Daily Mom Halloween themed articles:

Photo Credit: Title Image, Katherine

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Katherine lives in Kansas City with her husband, toddler, and 3 furry children. When she is not at home with her daughter, she is finishing up her Ph.D. in psychology or working on one of her multiple half-finished art projects. She loves ceramics, crafts, fitness, paper mache, and pretending to learn French and Spanish.

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