How To Make A Children’s Book Character Costume (Part 2)

Yesterday we started a mini-series on children’s book character costumes. Tonight I bring Part 2! This is a larger grouping of characters, male and female, and most of them would be excellent adult costumes as well. As with Part 1, there are some classic characters, some more obscure, and some brand new. Let’s imagine some costumes!

Lalouche costume from The Mighty Lalouche by Matthew Olshan, illustrated by Sophie Blackall


Starting off, here’s a sweet powerhouse boxer, Lalouche! Sophie Blackall’s illustrations are stunning and I would love to see a Mighty Lalouche character show up at our door! That great Parisian moustache and slicked hair and those vintage boxing gloves… I can see some great fun putting this outfit together. Although, I imagine it would be a bit chilly if you live in a Northern state, so perhaps add a boxer’s robe as well.

Viola Swamp costume from Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard, pictures by James Marshall


I’ve definitely seen a few versions of this character over the years, but man, it is such a good one. Is there anything scarier than Miss Nelson’s substitute, the strict, no-nonsense Viola Swamp? If I were a teacher, this would be my scary Halloween look for sure.

The Man in the Yellow Hat costume from Curious George by H. A. Rey


Perhaps a bit controversial of a character, but Curious George is such a classic tale and beloved by many including our oldest. Not sure how easy the yellow hat would be to find, but perhaps even finding a similarly tall hat and spray painting it would work. Also, I totally envision this with a George monkey to carry around. We have one from those Kohl’s book and stuffed animal deals and he is adorable and fun to play with!

Strega Nona costume from Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola


Continuing with classic characters, I think a Strega Nona costume would be excellent. Such a wise, mysterious woman and works perfectly for Halloween with her nickname of “Grandma Witch.” Firm, calm and just… she’s a good witch to be. (Also pair with a Big Anthony costume!)

Roger Trotter costume from Jumping Jack by Germano Zullo, illustrated by Albertine


Here’s a fun new character idea, Roger Trotter from the unique Jumping Jack book I shared a few months ago. This little jockey would be an awesome costume, especially paired with a stuffed black horse or even a dressed up dog perhaps! I love the peculiarity of him and he has such a big heart.

Mrs. Wishy Washy costume from Mrs. Wishy Washy by Joy Cowley, illustrations by Elizabeth Fuller


A bit unknown, but often favorite character from Joy Cowley’s 1980 book, Mrs. Wishy Washy would be a hoot to see walking around. You must be tidy and in control. Also make sure you scream about all the messes you encounter!

Mr. Tweed costume from Mr. Tweed’s Good Deeds by Jim Stoten


I hope to write more about this intense seek-and-find book just out from Flying Eye books in the near future. Mr. Tweed is a charming gent, very helpful and surrounded by needy people in an insanely full world. While I think this character would be a bit involved to recreate, it would be stunning and memorable.

Grandpa costume from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett, drawn by Ron Barrett


Last we have another costume with many pieces, but I can definitely see this being instantly recognizable. It is somewhat of a classic from 1978. I would think finding items at a thrift store would be fairly easy and fun. That goes for all these costumes I should think. Grandpa is the narrator of the tale about the city that gets its food from the weather. If you don’t take meatballs, try a bowl of mashed potatoes with butter on top!

Stay tuned for Part 3 and Part 4. You can also check out Part 1 or my previous posts from a couple years ago. Happy costuming!

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