Characters come to life to mark Roald Dahl Day

Children from the St Columbia Academy in Fareham dress the part as they celebrate Road Dahl day at the school. Owen Bailey-Simmonds (four) leads the group.
Children from the St Columbia Academy in Fareham dress the part as they celebrate Road Dahl day at the school. Owen Bailey-Simmonds (four) leads the group.
Picture: Luke Helmer

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CHILDREN have been dressing up as their favourite characters from one of the world’s most popular authors to celebrate Roald Dahl Day.

Walking along the corridors of St Columba Academy in Fareham were Oompa Loompas, witches and crocodiles.

It was all held to celebrate what would have been his 96th birthday last month.

They included characters from books such as The Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG.

Alfie Oliver, 10, was dressed up as Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

He said: ‘He’s my favourite character and he’s from my favourite Roald Dahl book.’

Shannon Spiers, 8, was dressed as a witch from The Witches.

She said: ‘It’s fun to dress up. We can act like the real characters. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is my favourite. The books are awesome.’

Jane Hoggarth, principal, said: ‘We wanted to do it to introduce the children to some more of the Roald Dahl books. It’s about bringing the books to life in a real way.

‘Dressing up as one of the characters, you feel like you are in the story.

‘He is one of the all-time great authors. His stories have global appeal. I remember reading his books when I was little.’

Roald Dahl Day links in well with the News Read All About It campaign to promote literacy in schools across the area.

Mrs Hoggarth added: ‘Reading is probably the most important skill you learn. If you learn to read you can do absolutely anything you want to do in life.

‘Reading fiction is really important because it’s opening up new words and new language for the children.’

Meanwhile, children at St John’s Primary School in Gosport also got into the Roald Dahl spirit by dressing up and raising money for the Roald Dahl charity.

Carolyn Wilkinson, deputy headteacher, said: ‘They have had a brilliant day. I have never seen so many Oompa Loompas in one place. They have made such an effort with their parents. Everybody has really got into the spirit of it. It’s good fun.’

Children had the opportunity to try Roald Dahl-themed food including Fantastic Mr Fox’s chicken.