HARRY Potter, Where’s Wally, the Cat in the Hat and vampires were all seen lurking around many schools in Portsmouth for World Book Day.
Students all over the city dressed up as their favourite book characters yesterday to mark the annual event that encourages literature.
The schools celebrated the world-wide event in different ways with many taking the day off from the normal national curriculum.
St John’s College in Albany Road, Southsea, was visited by author Andrew Lane who wrote the Young Sherlock Holmes book series.
He spoke to the Year Seven and Eight students about his latest book, Snake Bite, and how he came up with the gripping detective series.
Naomi Craise, school librarian co-ordinates author visits. She said: ‘What better way to acknowledge World Book Day than to celebrate the work of a great author?
‘I am sure he will inspire many of our pupils just like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle inspired Andrew to write such excellent books.’
Student Phoebe Van Eker, 13, is a huge fan of the Young Sherlock Holmes books. She said: ‘Andrew’s talk was really inspiring and I enjoyed hearing all the background information.’
Dominic Royston, 15, said: ‘It was very eye-opening, especially for a young writer like me. I am looking forward to reading his first book which he signed for me.’
Other schools designed bookmarks, wrote story books and learned about the different genres of novels.
Gemma Havey, Year Two teacher at St John’s C of E Primary School, Gosport, said: ‘World Book Day is a fantastic way to promote the love of reading and reading for pleasure. Also, the students get a free book token which allows them to pick something they really want to read.
‘Dressing up allows them to see what other interesting characters there might be in books and encourage them to read similar ones to their friends.’
Some of the most common characters the children dressed up as were Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, Little Red Riding Hood and Dennis the Menace from The Beano comics.