10 Iconic Kids’ Lit Halloween Costumes

Because you can do better for your child than choosing yet another Harry Potter character. Dig a bit deeper with these basic, cheap ideas.

1. Madeline From Ludwig Bemelmans’ Stories

You may be quite a distance from that old house in Paris that was covered in vines, but a good yellow hat can’t be far away. Wrap a black bow around the top, pair with a blue dress or yellow coat and help your offspring practice the dinner mantra.

2. Peter Rabbit From Beatrix Potter’s Stories

Find a pair of bunny ears (or dig them up from your college years trunk, we don’t judge [or check out these tutorials and craft some]) from a costume shop, pair with a blue blazer or sweater and finally—vegetables! See if you can’t get your kid to get how great carrots can be while maintaining character. Worth a shot, maybe.

3. Harold From “Harold And The Purple Crayon”

A white onesie or jumpsuit and a a purple crayon. Simplicity! Your curious kid might be the next Frank Stella of fashion. Who’s to say for sure?

4. Eloise From “Eloise”

A routine white blouse and black skirt union play base for this costume. Slap on a pair of black suspenders, non-negotiable red bow and Plaza Hotel poshness to finish. Feeling mega-ambitious? Check out this book for a pattern to knit sidekick pug Weenie.

5. Max From “Where The Wild Things Are”

Wrangle a neutral-colored onesie (preferably with feet) or sweatsuit and hot-glue spare buttons to the front. Draw whiskers with eyeliner. Stuff a tube sock and pin it on as a tail. Use the light cardboard from a cereal box to cut out a crown (visit a nearby Burger King for a readymade one). Spray paint it gold, secure it with staples to fit your child’s head and let the wild rumpus start!

6. Olivia From Ian Falconer’s Stories

Any sort of red dress/skirt/tutu works for this ambitious piglet. Add a construction paper nose. Is your little gal spinning pirouettes yet?

7. Salesman From “Caps For Sale: A Tale Of A Peddler, Some Monkeys And Their Monkey Business”

Adorn your offspring in a dark blazer. Draw a curly mustache (VERY important) with eyeliner. Finally, stack all the hats in your home, securing each layer with a safety pin. Use hearty double-stick tape to fasten the bottom hat to a plastic headband. Just be sure to urge Kiddo that if he or she must sell a cap, to charge much more than 50 cents a pop.

8. Anne Shirley From “Anne Of Green Gables”

Your straw gardening hat gets another shot at life! Combine that with a plain dress and apron. Choose either a book or fistful of wildflowers as a final accessory and be so glad you both live in a world where there are Octobers.

9. Aslan From The Chronicles of Narnia Series

Not JUST a lion—wait until he comes in sight. Go the full nine yards with a yellow hoodie, lots of yarn and this tutorial or go with Option B: a tawny sweatshirt and revamped paper plate mask.

10. Protagonist From “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

Isn’t it most parents’ dream to stick their child in a hilarious knit cap? Here’s a perfect and simultaneously uplifting opportunity. Ravelry offers a simple pattern for one here. If you live a (knitting) needle-free life, a yellow hoodie does the same trick. Just be sure to add an iconic balloon or two and an extra encouraging shove toward the future. Who says that ambition could or should stop Nov. 1?

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