World Book Day, celebrated annually on March 2nd, is a day dedicated to promoting the joy of reading and books. In the UK, it has become a tradition for children to dress up as their favorite characters from books, making it a fun and creative day at schools across the nation.
For those looking for dress-up inspiration, we’ve researched popularity numbers for some of the most beloved characters across all sorts of iconic book series. From Harry Potter to The Mad Hatter, here are the most popular World Book Day costumes in 2023.
The boy wizard from Hogwarts continues to be a popular choice for World Book Day. Children dress up in Hogwarts robes, with a Gryffindor scarf, a wizard hat, and a wand to complete the look.
The classic character from L. Frank Baum's beloved book is also a popular choice for World Book Day. Children dress up in a blue gingham dress, with ruby slippers and a basket, to become the brave young girl who travelled to the Land of Oz.
This classic character, known as "Waldo" in the US, continues to be a favourite among children. A red and white striped shirt, hat, and black glasses are all that are needed to become Wally and have people asking where you are.
The beloved book by Roald Dahl has inspired many children to dress up as the precocious young girl with telekinetic powers. A blue dress, a red hair ribbon, and a book in hand are all it takes to become Matilda.
This character from the popular children's book by Julia Donaldson has become a staple of World Book Day costumes. Children dress up as the fearsome creature with a fur suit, antlers, and claws.
This iconic superhero has inspired many girls to dress up as the powerful Amazonian princess. A red and blue costume with a gold headband and wristband is all that is needed to become the ultimate DC superhero.
The magical nanny from the classic Disney movie is a popular choice for World Book Day. A long black dress, with a hat and umbrella, is all that is needed to become Mary Poppins.
Alice in Wonderland
The classic character from Lewis Carroll's beloved book is also a popular choice for World Book Day. Children dress up in a blue dress, with a white apron, and a headband with a bow to become Alice.
The Cat in the Hat
The mischievous cat from Dr. Seuss's book is a favorite among children. A red and white striped hat, a bow tie, and a pair of gloves are all that are needed to become The Cat in the Hat.
Little Red Riding Hood
The classic fairy tale character continues to be a popular choice for World Book Day. Children dress up in a red hooded cloak with a basket to become Little Red Riding Hood.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle's classic character is a popular choice for younger children on World Book Day. A green and yellow striped body suit, with antennae and feet, is all that is needed to become The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
The villainous pirate from J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan" is a popular choice for World Book Day. A pirate hat, eye patch, and hook hand will let you become Captain Hook.
The Tin Man
The classic character from L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” is also a popular choice for World Book Day. With a silver suit, a funnel hat, and a heart-shaped clock, you too can become tin man.
The legendary hero of Sherwood Forest is a popular choice for World Book Day. A green tunic, with a feathered hat and a quiver of arrows, is all that is needed to become Robin Hood.
(Big Friendly Giant) The kind-hearted giant from Roald Dahl's book is also a popular choice for World Book Day. A giant suit, with a peaked cap and a trumpet, is all it takes to become the BFG.
The chocolatier from Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is a popular choice for World Book Day. A purple jacket, with a top hat and a cane, is enough to become Willy Wonka.
The legendary Greek hero from the Disney movie is a popular choice for World Book Day. A toga, with a golden headband and sandals, is all that is needed to become Hercules.
The Lion King
The Disney classic is a popular choice for World Book Day. A mane and tail, with a golden headpiece, are the missing pieces to becoming Simba or Mufasa.
The wooden boy who wants to be real is a popular choice for World Book Day. A blue and red outfit, with a wooden nose, is all you need to become Pinocchio.
The Mad Hatter
The eccentric character from Lewis Carroll's ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is also a popular choice for World Book Day. A top hat, with a colourful jacket and a bow tie, is all it takes to become the Mad Hatter.
What Makes These Costumes So Popular?
These 20 costumes are popular for World Book Day in the UK because they are iconic and recognisable characters from classic books and stories that have stood the test of time. Many of these characters have been popularised through movies and TV shows, making them even more well-known and beloved. These costumes are fun and creative, allowing children to express their love for reading and bring their favorite characters to life. Additionally, a lot of these costumes are easy to put together with just a few key items, making them accessible for families on a budget. Overall, the popularity of these costumes stems from the universal appeal of these timeless stories and the joy of dressing up. Here’s just one Google Trends example from a Where’s Wally costume search term. It peaks the chart in March each year, which of course is when World Book Day is.
Get Ready for World Book Day With TopToys2U
World Book Day is a fantastic celebration of the joy of reading and these 20 costumes are a reflection of the timeless and beloved characters that have captured the hearts and imaginations of people of all ages. Whether it's dressing up as a wizard, a superhero, or a magical nanny, these costumes allow children to express their creativity and bring their favourite stories to life. Are you and your little ones ready for World Book Day? Browse our World Book Day costume collection to find all sorts of ready-made costumes ranging from superheroes to princesses.