Book Week 2016 – Costumes
If you like to match your Book Week costume to the theme, represent a literary character or maybe try to do both then the 2016 theme gives you plenty of room to move. Australia: Story Country is a theme that lets one explore all the wonders of Australian fiction, storytelling, writing, history, culture and pretty much anything else you want. Here are some of my ideas for costumes that fit with the 2016 Book Week theme.
Feel like wearing your thongs and boardshorts to the library? Add a good smear of zinc and a broad-brim hat and you are set for a day of reading at the beach. Don’t forget to slip-slop-slap (or rug up – it will be winter after all.)
What about wearing your cowboy boots, a flannel and the old Akubra? If you would like to give this look a literary twist, perhaps come as the Man From Snowy River, from A.B. Patterson’s iconic poem.
Looking for something for a whole group to coordinate their costume? What about something nice and simple throughout the week? Well, taking inspiration from this year’s National Simultaneous Storytime try I Got This Hat written by Jol and Kate Temple and illustrated by Jon Foye. Each person wears a hat, either one from the book, get creative with the weirdest hats you can imagine or stick with the Australian theme with a life-saver’s cap, Akubra, and a cork-rimed hat.
Australian Flora and Fauna
Each person in the group could choose to dress as an iconic Australian animal, plant or flower. I can imagine the bright yellow costume of a wattle, the masks for a troop of kangaroos or the vibrant red and greens for a lorikeet.
Australian Literary Characters
Whether old or new, Australian literature offers a range of characters to choose from this year.
If you are looking for something from an Australian children’s classic, then my go-to would be Norah (or Jim or Wally, or course) from Mary Grant Bruce’s A Little Bush Maid, book one in the Billabong series. With her long skirt, smart riding boots, riding crop and old-style blouse, this is a great way to reintroduce some old characters to new readers.
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
With a cute, gumnut-shaped hat, this two-person costume idea pays homage to the iconic series by May Gibbs. But maybe try a tissue-paper skirt over pants or gum-nut coloured pants to complete the look.
Looking for something a little more this century, add a pretty skirt to those cowgirl boots and flannel and you have Heidi – The Reluctant Jillaroo from Kaz Delaney’s recently published novel. Maybe add a skateboard for good measure.
Characters from Australian picture books
Try Mr. Chicken from Leigh Hobbs’ books , Ninja Nana from Peter Carnavas’ My Nana is A Ninja, the Green Sheep from Mem Fox’s Where is the Green Sheep (actually, that could be a very cute group costume) or the cute and cuddly wombat from Jackie French’s Wombat Stew.
And take inspiration from the artwork from this year’s theme by Shaun Tan, which incorporates a range of Aussie characters and legends. I think dressing as the Rainbow Serpent would produce a very bright and colourful costume.