Your Good Guide to Book Week 2023

From 19–25 August, children right around Australia will be celebrating their love of books with costume parades, competitions, fun activities and, of course, a whole lot of reading.

  • 1 Sep 2023
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Every year, the Children’s Book Council of Australia holds a nationwide celebration of literature – they’ve been doing it since 1945! Schools, libraries and community groups come together to celebrate their favourite authors and illustrators, and remind us all of the power and the joy a great story can bring. 

This year’s children’s book week theme  
This year’s theme is ‘Read, Grow, Inspire’. It celebrates the power and possibility that reading can have to expand children’s inner world; to inspire them to become their best selves. Each year, an illustrator is chosen to bring the theme to life. Award-winning artist, composer and author Matt Ottley has done just that with his playful drawing of adventurous readers soaring through the clouds on the back of a seahorse. 

Book week costume ideas:
Everyone’s favourite part of book week: the costume parade! Whether it’s a hat or a head-to-toe outfit, the book week parade is a fun opportunity for kids to play their favourite book character for the day. To avoid the last-minute rush to the shops, here are some ideas to help you get your costume sorted early. 

Classic book week characters:

  • Alice, The Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts or the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland
  • Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion or the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz
  • Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat in the Hat
  • Red Riding Hood or the Big Bad Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood
  • Peter, Wendy, Captain Hook or Tinkerbell from Peter Pan


Modern book week characters:

  • Harry, Hermione or Ron from the Harry Potter Series
  • Max or one of the WIld Things from Where the Wild Things Are
  • Elsa, Anna or Olaf from Frozen (inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's ‘The Snow Queen’
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Poppy and Branch from Trolls
  • Katniss or Peter from The Hunger Games


Australian book week characters:

  • Macca the Alpaca or Dharma the Llama
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Wombat from Diary of a Wombat
  • Pig from Pig and the Pug


DIY tips for your book week costume:

We all love a good book week costume, but buying a brand new costume for every book week isn’t always possible – especially if you have a few kids who are participating. Here are a few DIY tips to help you pull together a fabulous costume that feels good - but goes easy on the budget.

  • Hit the op shops – you might find a great base for your costume at your local op shop. They’re a treasure trove of inspiring, crazy, and budget-friendly discoveries. Then, top it all off with an accessory - a hat, a headband, a crazy pair of socks - from your nearest department store.
  • Get crafty – purchase some supplies from your local craft store and create your own costume from scratch. Head to YouTube to find oodles of simple tutorials for DIY hats, masks or accessories.
  • Try a costume swap – organise a costume swap with a group of friends. The kids can raid each other’s costume boxes for fun outfits that will feel new to them. 


How’s your book stash looking?

Children’s Book Week is a timely reminder to keep our children in the habit of reading. If it’s time to grow your book collection and help them find their new favourite character, be sure to check out these top reads at book shops at Plumpton Marketplace.

  • Possum Magic by Mem Fox (1983)
  • The Rainbow Serpent  by D Roughsey & P Trezise (1992)
  • The Jolly Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg (1999)
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake (2016)
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume (2014)


Happy reading!