CHILDREN dazzled in the costumes of their favourite book characters as they celebrated World Book Day.
Pupils of all ages spent the day reading and taking part in activities and games, from using emojis to guess book titles, to visiting bookshops, and speaking to authors.
Each school celebrated the annual event differently, giving pupils the chance to champion their favourite characters, use their imaginations and further understand the importance of reading.
Activities at St Edmund’s Catholic School in Landport, Portsmouth, were led by library learning resources co-ordinator Jane Edwards.
She said: ‘We celebrated World Book Day with a reading week to highlight characters and literacy across the curriculum.
‘We want to grab the attention of 11 to 16 year olds and get them to read more, because the more they do the more their academic abilities will improve.
‘We also want to them to know reading is a life skill.
‘If you apply for a job you’ve got to read an advert, if you want to learn to drive you have to be able to read road signs and your theory test.
‘This week pupils have used emojis to guess the titles of books, taken part in quizzes and a bookmark-making session, been on the hunt for specific characters around school, and on Friday we’ve got our Dr Who Club.
‘At the start of every lesson we’ve also done Drop Everything and Read – where children stop what they’re doing and read for 10 minutes.’
Thirteen-year-old Daisy Gwilliam attends St Edmund’s and dressed as Roo from Winnie the Pooh. She said: ‘I like reading because you can enter a different world and everything real around you stops, it’s really satisfying.’
As well as reading, World Book Day is a celebration of authors and illustrators, and is the biggest of its kind. It is designed by UNESCO and is marked in more than 100 countries.
Pupils at Lyndhurst Junior School in North End dressed-up and spent the day reading and sharing books, before eating a themed lunch which included BFGs (Big Fish Goujons), a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang burger, and a James and the Giant Peach melba. Beau Benham Wyatt, Year 3, dressed up as Tintin and said: ‘I love reading my books at bedtime.
‘World Book Day is great fun and it’s nice to know our library will get new books from our dress-up donation money, hopefully ones written by footballers!’.
Children and staff at Langstone Infant School celebrated the world of Where’s Wally and took part in a hunt around their grounds, while pupils from St Jude’s Catholic Primary School, Fareham, took part in their own World Book Week and visited their local Waterstones.
Sarah Wall, headteacher at St Jude’s, said: ‘We work with parents to encourage daily reading at home so children quickly learn to read and gain a life skill which underpins all learning.
‘The importance of events such as World Book Day show children, through words, the opportunities that life holds.’
Mum-of-one Charlotte Moody, from Paulsgrove, saw her son Archie and nephews Frankie and Teddie off to St Paul’s Catholic Primary School all dressed up.
She said: ‘World Book Day is an inspirational day that Archie gets excited about, he loves reading DC Comics so wanted to go as The Joker.
‘Authors are visiting St Paul’s this week to encourage pupils to read more and practice more creative writing, which I think is great.’