Fiction and fantasy worlds

Pupils visiting the SEARCH Museum,  Gosport, dressed as characters from Alice In Wonderland.
Pupils visiting the SEARCH Museum, Gosport, dressed as characters from Alice In Wonderland.
Enwezor Nzegwu from the Great British Bake Off of 2014, with University of Portsmouth students.

Picture: Tamara Siddiqui

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When you read a book you love, it almost feels like you have disappeared into the pages and have become a part of the story.

Maybe you wish you could go to school with Harry Potter or meet the Mad Hatter with Alice.

To celebrate World Book Day on Thursday, the SEARCH Museum in Gosport is holding Story Explorer drop-in sessions on Wednesday and on the day itself.

Children will visit the museum throughout the week while families can attend free drop-ins from 4pm until 5.30pm. They are designed to get children creative and involved with literacy.

The natural sciences collection has been transformed so children can explore the magical story of the Fantastic Mr Fox, and the Victorian kitchen has become a room of fairy-tales and wishes as it will be Cinderella’s home.

Follow the white rabbit into a fantasy world as the parlour has been transformed into a room from Alice Through The Looking Glass, while wizarding fans can dress up as a student from the magical school of Hogwarts. There’s even the chance to meet Ron’s faithful pet from the first three books, Scabbers the rat.

You can meet Toad, Mole, Badger and Otter from Kenneth Grahame’s Wind In The Willows as you go on a river bank safari.

Or take a trip back to the Second World War and learn about the background behind the novel Goodnight Mr Tom, which was written by local author Michelle Magorian.

Other stories you can delve into at the museum include The Gruffalo, Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson, Old Bear, Peepo, and The Hungry Caterpillar.

Wendy Redman is the education officer at the SEARCH Museum. She says: ‘The children can dress up as some of the characters when they visit, and we’ve also got lots of different activities for them to get involved in.

‘They can make masks and do lots of hands-on activities when they visit. Obviously they will get a chance to read the books too, but it’s about bringing the characters they know into real life.’

Children must be accompanied by an adult to the drop-ins, and they are aimed at children aged four and older.

It runs from 4pm- 5.30pm and there’s no need to book. The drop-ins are free but a donation would be appreciated. For more information about the SEARCH museum call (023) 9250 1957.