Halloween Costumes From Children’s Literature

Halloween Costumes from Children's Literature

Since Meagan and I both love children’s literature, we thought it would be fun to round up some creative Halloween costume ideas based on beloved children’s book characters. And since we also both favor “good enough” over perfect, we’re of the belief that costumes don’t always have to be 100% handmade OR purchased head-to-toe from a high-end retailer. Last year my little orphan Annie’s costume was a hybrid concoction of store-bought wig, hand-me-down dress, Target clearance shoes, and a quickie DIY belt:

Yes, it’s easiest to order a costume that comes with all the accessories and pieces together – and sometimes that brand of “easy” is just what we need. But just as often, I think, rummaging through your own closets and dress-up bins can yield some pretty great, creative costumes. Add a signature or store-bought piece to complete the character or look and you’re good to go – often at a much lower price point than if you’d bought the whole thing.

Here are six Halloween costume ideas based on children’s book characters, and some ideas for using stuff you might already own before buying an entire costume.

Halloween Costumes from Children's Literature - TheHappiestHome.com

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Fern Arable (Charlotte’s Web)


The other day I spotted my youngest trotting around the house carrying a tin pail and a stuffed pink pig (don’t ask). She looked just like Fern! A little girl’s Fern costume could be as simple as overalls or farm-style clothes, pigtails, and the key accessories of Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider. 


pink stuffed pig, wilber

Looks just like Wilbur! Available at Amazon.com.


Pippi Longstocking

Oh, Pippi. What child doesn’t at some point fantasize about living alone with horse and a monkey? Pippi’s braids are her signature, and wigs are easily available for purchase. The rest of the outfit, though? Mismatched socks, crazy colors and patterns, and a generally zany vagabond look. Let’s just say that it wouldn’t be a stretch for my first grader to come downstairs looking like Pippi on a normal day. 


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Pippi Longstocking wig available at Amazon.com


Stuart Little

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While the more recent movie depicts Stuart Little in contemporary clothing, I think a traditional Stuart would make a darling Halloween costume for a boy or a girl. Old fashioned knickers and a little jacket paired with ears and a tail, topped off with a newsboy cap? Too sweet.

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Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House Books)

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I’ve been reading the Little House series to my oldest on and off for a couple of years, but in the last couple months we’ve been totally immersed in the last few books. Admittedly, I find myself thinking of Laura and the Ingalls family periodically throughout the day! 

For Laura-lovers, a pioneer style bonnet paired with any long dress and apron (even if they weren’t completely historically accurate) would make a perfect Halloween costume. I found this one on Etsy:


brown calico pioneer bonnet

Brown calico pioneer bonnet from BonnetsandDresses on Etsy.com


Jack and Annie (Magic Tree House Books)

Jack and Annie, heroes of the beloved Magic Tree House series, are regular, modern-day kids; dressing like them wouldn’t amount to much more than jeans and tee-shirts. But if you have child who loves the books, you also know that Jack wears glasses and always carries a notebook and a knapsack, and that Annie has pigtails. How cute would a brother-sister pair be dressed up as these two adventurers?


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Round glasses perfect for a Jack-and-Annie duo costume, available at Amazon.com.


Alice, Harry, & Dorothy

Alice Harry Dorothy

These three costume ideas are perhaps not as original as the others we’ve talked about, but for good reason – the characters are so well known and loved that they’ve become Halloween classics. In the case of Alice and Dorothy, it may actually be easier to buy a full costume than do it yourself – there are several available for reasonable prices. In the case of Harry, buying just the scarf and glasses and accessorizing the rest yourself would definitely achieve the look (but the robe is pretty awesome, too!).

Pictured above: Alice costume and Harry Potter scarf from Amazon.com; Dorothy costume from One Step Ahead.

Happy costume hunting, mamas! What are your little ones dressing as this year? Any literature favorites?

About The Author


  1. Kate E
  2. Heather
  3. MB