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Costume: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about costume is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From Something Smells! to Clive Is a Nurse there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about costume? Let us know!

Top 10 Costume Books

Something Smells! book
#1
Something Smells!
Written by Blake Liliane Hellman and illustrated by Steven Henry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Elliot wakes up one morning to the most terrible smell. But what could it be? Find out in this gentle introduction to hygiene that’s stinkin’ adorable! One morning, Elliot wakes up and smells something awful. Is it the trash? No… The dog? No… Dad? His sister? The baby? Grandma’s famous gerfartzenschanffel? No, no, no, and no! Elliot searches high and low for the something that smells, but he just can’t find it, and it’s driving him and his nostrils crazy. Almost as bad, now his mother wants him to take a bath, which means taking off his super cool skeleton costume that he’s been wearing since Halloween! The funny thing is, after Elliot finishes his bath and Mom puts his costume in the wash, something doesn’t smell anymore…

Julian Is a Mermaid book
#2
Julian Is a Mermaid
Written and illustrated by Jessica Love
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world. While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes -- and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love's author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.

Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty book
#3
Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty
Written and illustrated by Anna Kang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Papillon is a very fluffy kitty. So fluffy that he's lighter than air! His owner tries to weigh him down, but Papillon just wants to fly. One particularly sunny day, he floats right out the window! Exploring the wide world is exhilarating, but it's also a little scary. Will his new friend, a bird, be able to help him find his way home? Whimsical art and airy text come together seamlessly in this delightful debut by A. N. Kang.

The Three Snow Bears book
#4
The Three Snow Bears
Written and illustrated by Jan Brett
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Jan Brett’s bestselling snowy “Goldilocks” retelling is now available in this popular large, durable format. Painted in her signature style, the familiar story and depiction of playful Arctic animals and birds dressed in colorful Inuit costumes make this classic tale a perfect choice for Jan’s youngest fans.

Pout-Pout Fish: Haunted House book
#5
Pout-Pout Fish: Haunted House
Written by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Dan Hanna, Deborah Diesen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

It's time for Halloween, and Mr. Fish is nervous about visiting a haunted house with his friends—but he just may be surprised that it's not all so scary! At an affordable price point, and with two pages of stickers, this new format is fun and accessible for Mr. Fish's fans and newcomers alike.

A Dog Is a Dog book
#6
A Dog Is a Dog
Written and illustrated by Stephen Shaskan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A dog is a dog, right? Not so fast! From debut author-illustrator Stephen Shaskan comes this lively picture book that will keep young readers guessing (and giggling!) from beginning to end. With its wacky illustrations, bouncy text, and spot-on humor, A Dog Is a Dog is a fantastic read-aloud that kids will clamor to hear again and again.

On a Windy Night book
#7
On a Windy Night
Written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by George Bates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

On a windy Halloween night, as a little boy makes his way home after trick-or-treating, he hears a voice: “Cracklety-clack, bones in a sack. They could be yours—if you look back.” As his heart flip-flops with fear, the boy dashes through woods and fields that seem full of haunting shapes—owls, ghosts, skeletons, and more. The detailed illustrations are packed with visual tricks for children to discover. Are those skeletons or cornstalks? Ghostly hands or tree branches? The playful tone of the text makes this a perfect, not-too-scary read-aloud, with an enjoyable surprise ending.

Harriet Gets Carried Away book
#8
Harriet Gets Carried Away
Written and illustrated by Jessie Sima
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

While shopping with her two dads for supplies for her birthday party, Harriet, who is wearing a penguin costume, is carried away by a waddle of penguins and must hatch a plan in order to get herself back to the store in the city.

Trick or Treat on Animal Street book
#9
Trick or Treat on Animal Street
Written by Maggie Fischer and illustrated by Gina L. Maldonado
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Get ready for a wild Halloween on Animal Street in this cute rhyming lift-the-flap book! "It’s Halloween night and there are friends to meet— It’s time to trick-or-treat on Animal Street!” Join pirate foxes, bunny ballerinas, and more on a not-so-spooky Halloween adventure. With big flaps to lift and adorable illustrations, this fun rhyming board book is festive and perfect for story time!

Spooky Pookie book
#10
Spooky Pookie
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Pookie gets dressed up for Halloween in this silly board book from beloved and bestselling author and illustrator Sandra Boynton. It’s Halloween! What will little Pookie decide to be this year? Pookie tries on costumes one by one, but somehow can’t find just the right thing. The resolution to Pookie’s dilemma will delight toddlers and their caregivers alike. Told and illustrated with Sandra Boynton’s celebrated charm and pizzazz, Spooky Pookie has all the makings of a beloved Halloween classic. Boo!

Books About Animals & Costume

The Three Snow Bears book
#1
The Three Snow Bears
Written and illustrated by Jan Brett
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Jan Brett’s bestselling snowy “Goldilocks” retelling is now available in this popular large, durable format. Painted in her signature style, the familiar story and depiction of playful Arctic animals and birds dressed in colorful Inuit costumes make this classic tale a perfect choice for Jan’s youngest fans.

A Dog Is a Dog book
#2
A Dog Is a Dog
Written and illustrated by Stephen Shaskan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A dog is a dog, right? Not so fast! From debut author-illustrator Stephen Shaskan comes this lively picture book that will keep young readers guessing (and giggling!) from beginning to end. With its wacky illustrations, bouncy text, and spot-on humor, A Dog Is a Dog is a fantastic read-aloud that kids will clamor to hear again and again.

Trick or Treat on Animal Street book
#3
Trick or Treat on Animal Street
Written by Maggie Fischer and illustrated by Gina L. Maldonado
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Get ready for a wild Halloween on Animal Street in this cute rhyming lift-the-flap book! "It’s Halloween night and there are friends to meet— It’s time to trick-or-treat on Animal Street!” Join pirate foxes, bunny ballerinas, and more on a not-so-spooky Halloween adventure. With big flaps to lift and adorable illustrations, this fun rhyming board book is festive and perfect for story time!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Polly and Her Duck Costume - Polly and Her Duck Costume tells the true story of Polly, a little blind goat who was rescued by Leanne Lauricella, rescuer of farmyard animals and founder of the immensely popular Instagram account The Goats of Anarchy. Polly has some trouble adapting to her new life until her new mom gives her a warm and fuzzy duck costume, which turns out to be the perfect fit! Follow along with Polly as she finds love with her new family, gains confidence, and makes new friends. The perfect tale to inspire and delight animal lovers, Polly and Her Duck Costume pairs beautiful illustrations with a truly heartwarming tale readers of all ages will adore.

  2. Is That You, Eleanor Sue? - Saturdays are dress-up days when Eleanor Sue Climbs out the window . . . Tiptoes over to the front door . . . And rings the doorbell. Ding dong. When her mother answers, she doesn’t see Eleanor Sue. She sees A cranky old neighbor. Or a hungry witch. Or a white-bearded wizard. Eleanor Sue is a master of disguise, but when her mother gets in on the act, along with Grandma, anything can happen in this whimsical picture book by award-winning author/illustrator Tricia Tusa.

  3. Peekaboo! - It's more than a book—it's a mask! Every spread includes a funny fact about featured creatures, from bears to robots. And young readers will squeal in surprise to find that when this board book is opened, the eye-sized die-cuts allow each spread to become a mask! Kids will have a blast posing as a fly-eating frog or a mouse-chasing cat. Sure to be a hit during both story time and playtime!

Want to see even more books about costume and animals?

How about books about animals?

Books About Halloween & Costume

Pout-Pout Fish: Haunted House book
#1
Pout-Pout Fish: Haunted House
Written by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Dan Hanna, Deborah Diesen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

It's time for Halloween, and Mr. Fish is nervous about visiting a haunted house with his friends—but he just may be surprised that it's not all so scary! At an affordable price point, and with two pages of stickers, this new format is fun and accessible for Mr. Fish's fans and newcomers alike.

On a Windy Night book
#2
On a Windy Night
Written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by George Bates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

On a windy Halloween night, as a little boy makes his way home after trick-or-treating, he hears a voice: “Cracklety-clack, bones in a sack. They could be yours—if you look back.” As his heart flip-flops with fear, the boy dashes through woods and fields that seem full of haunting shapes—owls, ghosts, skeletons, and more. The detailed illustrations are packed with visual tricks for children to discover. Are those skeletons or cornstalks? Ghostly hands or tree branches? The playful tone of the text makes this a perfect, not-too-scary read-aloud, with an enjoyable surprise ending.

Trick or Treat on Animal Street book
#3
Trick or Treat on Animal Street
Written by Maggie Fischer and illustrated by Gina L. Maldonado
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Get ready for a wild Halloween on Animal Street in this cute rhyming lift-the-flap book! "It’s Halloween night and there are friends to meet— It’s time to trick-or-treat on Animal Street!” Join pirate foxes, bunny ballerinas, and more on a not-so-spooky Halloween adventure. With big flaps to lift and adorable illustrations, this fun rhyming board book is festive and perfect for story time!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Spooky Pookie - Pookie gets dressed up for Halloween in this silly board book from beloved and bestselling author and illustrator Sandra Boynton. It’s Halloween! What will little Pookie decide to be this year? Pookie tries on costumes one by one, but somehow can’t find just the right thing. The resolution to Pookie’s dilemma will delight toddlers and their caregivers alike. Told and illustrated with Sandra Boynton’s celebrated charm and pizzazz, Spooky Pookie has all the makings of a beloved Halloween classic. Boo!

  2. Eek! Halloween! - Boynton celebrates Halloween! A new addition to the Boynton on Board series, with over 21 million copies sold, Eek! Halloween! is all treat and no tricks, a journey with Boynton and her nutty characters through the tradition of Halloween. It starts with an uh-oh—the chickens are nervous! Strange things are happening. One chicken saw a pumpkin with flickering eyes, another spied a mouse of enormous size. They all saw a wizard and a witch, and a spooky robot. “WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? / Relax, silly chickens! It’s HALLOWEEN!”

  3. Five Little Monkeys Trick-Or-Treat - In another adorable story starring Eileen Christelow's mischievous and beloved monkeys, these five silly monkeys go trick-or-treating and fun chaos ensues! Now in paperback. "Another winner." --School Library Journal Five little monkeys dress up for Halloween. They're going trick-or-treating with their favorite babysitter, Lulu. Mama reminds her, "Don't lose the rascals!" But soon those mischievous monkeys meet other costumed friends and decide to try "the best Halloween trick ever!" Will Lulu be fooled? Or will the five little rascals get tricked by their own monkey business? Vibrant, silly, and perfect for reading aloud, this non-scary Halloween story will delight fans of this best-selling series. Includes recipes for "eyeballs" and "worm juice" for kids to try at home.

  4. The Walking Bathroom - A sweet Halloween story about standing out and fitting in. I t’s Halloween, and Amayah doesn’t have a costume to wear to school. She dressed as a ghost for the last three years in a row, witches are overdone, and fairies are not her style. She wants to be something different, something creative. The Walking Bathroom is the newest book from awardwinning author and poet Shauntay Grant, with fun, eyecatching artwork from Erin Bennett Banks. This imaginative tale is bound to inspire some unique costumes and become a Halloween favorite!

Want to see even more books about costume and Halloween?

How about books about Halloween?

Did you enjoy our costume book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Table of Contents
  1. Top 10 Costume Books
  2. + animals (6)
  3. + Halloween (15)
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