Tag Archives: characters in fiction

64 Homemade Character Costumes – and I Still Don’t Know What To Be

Inspiration: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

Inspiration: Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Inspiration: Cindy Lou Who from Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

The above photos were borrowed from a collection of 64 character-based, home-made costumes, with instructions at About.Com Family Crafts.

And here’s a list of 60 Favorite Book Character Costumes.

For several years I dressed for school on Halloween as “Ms Kill” (a play on my name: Kilpatrick). I claimed to be Mrs. Kilpatrick’s older sister who had to work on Halloween because it was too scary for her (me). I wore a high-necked, long sleeved lace-edged blouse, a suit vest, long black skirt and ‘sensible’ shoes. I ‘aged’ my face with make-up, ‘horn-rimmed’ my glasses with electrical tape cut-outs and put spiders in a grey wig made into a bum and netted.

I was nasty and spent all day telling the kids to ‘shhhhh’. They got the idea that Ms Kill wasn’t very nice and loved to try to make me laugh, which was Not Allowed – I’d screech, “No frivolity in the library!” – but they really didn’t get the ‘librarian’ reference and I tired of the repeated act. Besides, as the year’s go by I need less ‘aging’ make-up and that is no fun. 🙂

Since then I’ve gone as a wispy ghost (that was fun, I was completely disguised), a failed “Where’s Waldo” (few kids guessed right) and a witch (clichĂ©). Don’t know what I’ll be this year, I’m uninspired. I prefer ‘assembled’ costumes, rather than sewn (that’s just not going to happen), or purchased. Any ideas for me?


Filed under Books, Authors & Illustrators

Real-life Charles Dickens Characters Traced

Charles Dickens is known for his memorable characters. He was a brilliant observer and took note of names and characters he found compelling, sometimes getting into trouble for basing the characters in his novels a little to closely on the original. The archetypes of the miserly Scrooge and affected Pecksniff have become so common to modern vernacular that one does not have to be familiar with Dickens’ work to understand the implications of their use.

Oliver and Bill Sikes, Dickens's infamous rogue – or should that be William Sykes, a Marylebone fuel-seller? Photograph: ITV/Rex Features

Ruth Richardson, a fellow of the Royal Historical Society has sleuthed out the possible real-life counterparts of many of Dickens’ characters in Dickens and the Workhouse: Oliver Twist and the London Poor.

“Detective work by Ruth Richardson has revealed that a trader named William Sykes sold tallow and oil for lamps from a shop in the same bustling east Marylebone street in which Dickens lived between the ages of 17 and 20.

Nearby, Richardson discovered the home of a sculptor derided by locals as a miser, the premises of two tradesmen named Goodge and Marney, and a local cheesemonger called Marley – “so suggestive of Scrooge and Marley”, she said.

They all lived yards from Dickens’s modest lodgings at 10 Norfolk Street above a small cornershop. Crucially, he lived nine doors from the barbaric workhouse now thought to have inspired Oliver Twist a few years later.”

More at The Guardian


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Filed under Books, Authors & Illustrators