PICTURES: Hartlepool youngsters dress up for World Book Day

From Mad Hatters to Minnie Mouse, Hartlepool youngsters dressed up as their favourite characters for World Book Day.

The annual event, run by a literacy charity, is aimed at encouraging school children to get excited about the world of books.

Ethan, 5, as The Mad Hatter

Ethan, 5, as The Mad Hatter

The national day has grown each year with thousands of youngsters across the town getting in the spirit and going to school dressed as their heroes.

This year’s bookworms included Emily Docherty, four, who showed there’s no place like Hartlepool when she dressed as Dorothy from Wizard of Oz.

Here’s some of our other favourites.

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Nicole, nine, and Ruby, five, as Cleopatra and Princess Jasmine

Nicole, nine, and Ruby, five, as Cleopatra and Princess Jasmine

Tiegan Hall, 7, as Princess Jasmine

Tiegan Hall, 7, as Princess Jasmine

Millie Craddock as Dorothy from Wizard of Oz

Millie Craddock as Dorothy from Wizard of Oz

Kiera-Leigh as Minnie Mouse

Kiera-Leigh as Minnie Mouse

Harrison, three, as both Thomas the Tank Engine and the Fat Controller

Harrison, three, as both Thomas the Tank Engine and the Fat Controller