2016 book week costumes – Australia! Story Country

2016 book week costume ideas

The theme for Book Week this year is ‘Australia! Story Country’. It’s a challenging theme, at least when it comes to costumes! The biggest lad is only in Kindergarten, it’s the first year he’s had to dress up for book week. He’s excited. Maybe I am too. After all our brainstorming I thought I’d put together a list of 10 2016 Book Week costumes.

According to the biggest lad, I’m making his book week costume. We thought about dressing him as a possum from Possum Magic or a wombat from Diary of a Wombat. I explained the toilet logistics of a wombat costume to him. His suggestion on the wombat suit? A velcro bit at the front, like a pouch, so he can get his penis out when he needs to wee. Ingenious, but no!

While I love Australian picture books, they are sorely lacking in obvious characters for book week costumes. We headed to the book shelf for ideas. Here’s what we came up with!

2016 Book Week costumes

1. Charlie Parsley (from Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley by Aaron Blabey)

Charlie Parsley is quite and likes to be safe and sound. He’s a low key kid. Here are the costume essentials:

  • blue PJs with a white stripe
  • a white tie around the waist
  • white shoes.

How simple is that? The challenge might be in convincing your child they can wear PJs to school!

pearl barley and charlie parsley 2016 book week costumes

2. Pearl Barley (again from Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley by Aaron Blabey)

Loud Pearl Barley likes to run amok, she sports funky pig tails and wears:

  • a red pleated skirt
  • green v-neck jumper, and
  • black shoes with white socks.

I reckon this one could be pulled together from the wardrobe.

3. Stanley Paste (from Stanley Paste by Aaron Blabey)

Stanley Paste is small, and he hates it. But his outfit would be easy to copy, spike up the hair and wear:

  • a long sleeve white shirt
  • green vest
  • striped school tie
  • grey school shorts, and
  • school shoes and socks.

This one might be especially appealing if your school’s uniform doesn’t normally involve a shirt and tie.

2016 book week costumes
Sunday chutney book week costumes 2016

4. Sunday Chutney (from Sunday Chutney by Aaron Blabey)

Sunday Chutney is a bit unusual. She also has various outfits. Perhaps the most recognisable is the cover picture. I’d be tracking down:

  • pretend black rim glasses
  • red, knee length coat, and
  • black shoes with white socks.

As far as costumes go, it’s not too complicated. It’d work really well on a little girl with long dark hair.

Moving away from Aaron Blabey to some old school Australian books and authors.

5. Mr McGee (by Pamela Allen)

There’s a whole Mr McGee series and his outfit is outlandish. Yet Mr McGee’s outfit has plenty of potential as a costume. He wears:

  • purple trousers with a black belt
  • a red jacket
  • a white or pale pink shirt
  • a black bowler hat with a red band, and
  • black shoes with blue socks.

I suspect a Mr McGee costume might require a trip to the op shop. I’d draw on a moustache too. If you wanted to add a prop, your child could carry a big bag of bread or a jar of blackberry jam.

mr mcgee 2016 book week costumes
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie 2016 book week costumes

6. Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (by May Gibbs)

A gum nut baby costume would be very sweet but it may require a little DIY. A simple outfit is:

  • a green tulle skirt
  • an orange or yellow tee shirt, and
  • a green beanie. Add some yellow pom poms and green leaves to jazz it up!

Here’s a gum nut baby costume from the Organised House Wife for more inspiration.

7. Skinny Doug (from Good Night, Sleep Tight by Mem Fox)

Skinny Doug is Bonnie and Ben’s favourite babysitter. Skinny Doug has a simple style, it is:

  • a green striped shirt
  • grey trousers with a brown shirt, and
  • red sneakers.

As far as costumes go, it’s easy!

Skinng Doug 2016 book week costumes
Harriet 2016 book week costumes

8. Harriet (from Harriet, you’ll drive me wild by Mem Fox)

I do have a soft spot for little Harriet and her frazzled Mum! Her outfit is simple to copy:

  • a white tee shirt
  • blue denim overalls, and
  • red sneakers with white socks.

That’s it! Another costume that you might be able to track down in the wardrobe.

9. Simpson (from Simpson and his donkey by Mark Greenwood)

This is a classic ANZAC story of one man and a donkey. A Simpson costume would be:

  • army greens
  • an Army hat
  • a white arm band with a red cross, and
  • maybe even a toy donkey as a prop!

Simpson may not be as modern as some of the other costumes, but it definitely fits the Australian theme!

Simpson and his Donkey 2016 book week
Amy & Louis 2016 Book week costumes

10. Amy (from Amy & Louis by Libby Gleeson)

Amy and Louis is a gorgeous story of friendship. Amy has various outfits, but like Sunday Chutney, the cover image is the most recognisable. Amy wears:

  • a white tee shirt
  • a dark coloured pinafore dress, and
  • long red and white striped socks.

A little tip

If your child is worried their costume isn’t recognisable, give them a copy of the book to take to school. That should help to remove any doubt!

Non-character 2016 Book Week costumes

If picking a character is tough, you could always go with an Australian culture costume. Perhaps board shorts, a surf tee shirt, thongs, a hat and a smear of zinc in the warmer States. Or a bushranger/farmer if it’s cold. Pull out the jeans, a flannel shirt (or even just a checked shirt), cowboy boots and a hat. Two little plaits would be cute if you have a lady bushranger.

Did I miss any Australia picture book characters? Have you got your 2016 book week costumes sorted? We’re still debating our options but we’re not going with a wombat!

Edit, an update

The biggest lad decided he wanted to be Mr McGee for Book Week! Here he is. The hunt for a red jacket was epic! We found this one at an Op Shop. It’s an adults jacket, I did some serious hacking to make it fit. He certainly looked the part!

2016 book week costumes Australia Mr McGee
2016 book week costumes Australia Story Country


Linking up with Kylie for #IBOT

25 thoughts on “2016 book week costumes – Australia! Story Country

  1. I can’t wait for book week dress ups 🙂 Though I’m not talented with a sewing machine, so the easier the better for me. I wonder how you could dress up as the green sheep (or any other chosen sheep) from that Mem Fox book?
    There’s always The magic Pudding and Cohorts to choose from too. Aaron Blabey is a great source of characters isn’t he?
    Do you know Zsnni Louise from my Little Sunshine House? She has a link in this link up about children’s books to travel with. She has started hosting a children’s book themed Tuesday link up, so you should head over to her blog and link this post up (if you wanted to that is ).
    Dani x

    1. I once went as a Christmas pudding to something at school, there were some toilet logistics that my Mum forgot to think about! Thanks for letting my know about Zanni’s link up Dani, I added my link on her site.

  2. This will be my first year having to do the whole book week drama. I’ve got a preppie who will be right into it so I will have to be on my game. Thanks for the ideas. I’m sure I’ll be looking back at this post again x

  3. These are all great ideas! Mr 7’s school doesn’t worry about the theme thankfully so it makes costumes easier. Last year he went as a Rotten Roman from Horrible Histories.

    1. If it wasn’t for my enthusiastic kindy kid I’d probably be in denial too Bec. But unlike you, I am rather fond of a dress up! Good luck deciding on a costume for your son!

  4. What great ideas – I guess the green sheep would be one step too far! I think your idea of taking the book and wearing the costume is a great one, that will clear up any confusion stat!

  5. Great list Claire – will share on my teacher types page – I think my parent followers will be keen to get some ideas. I love the gum nut babies idea – and yes ts a great idea to carry the book just so everyone know’s who’s who 🙂

    1. Thanks Lauren, that’s very kind of you! I think the gum nut babies would be sweet too, but perhaps better for a girl!

  6. I just love the thought of these special events for book week. As a children’s author I love anything fun that can draw children’s attention to and get them excited about reading! Well done on these great ideas.

  7. I have just started for our book week next Tuesday. I want to top myself! These are great ideas… was going to do Possum Magic but thought it was too hard until I read through your comments. Purple apron with stars it is!! #ihatecraft

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