Thousands of children take part in World Book Day

PUPILS stepped into an imaginary world as they took part in a global celebration of reading.

Thousands of schoolchildren took part in World Book Day yesterday to acknowledge the importance of reading and celebrate authors and illustrators.

THroston Primary school pupil Daniel Forster

THroston Primary school pupil Daniel Forster

The day, supported by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is marked in more than 100 countries.

And Hartlepool and East Durham did their bit as thousands of youngsters turned up for the school day dressed as their favourite characters.

At Stranton Primary School, in Southburn Terrace, Hartlepool, activities included children sharing their favourite stories with the rest of the school, and older children reading to younger pupils.

Headteacher Neil Nottingham said: “We had costumes from Jack Sparrow and The Incredibles to Mary Poppins and The Tiger Who Came To Tea.

Kingsley Primary school pupil Mollie Winspear

Kingsley Primary school pupil Mollie Winspear

“It was just about the children appreciating characters from different books and talking to each other about books they enjoy reading.”

Kingsley Primary School, in Taybrooke Avenue, had dozens of youngsters turn up to school dressed as their favourite story-time characters, while at St Bega’s Primary School, in Thorpe Street, on the Headland, kids donned their pyjamas and brought in their favourite books to share with their pals.

At Throston Primary School, in Wiltshire Way, headteacher Mark Atkinson set the children a challenge to create their favourite book characters out of fruit and veg.

He said: “We had an absolutely brilliant response to the competition and had everything from Julia Donaldson characters like the The Gruffalo and The Snail and The Whale, and characters from Star Wars and even Bananas in Pyjamas. They’re all really good.”

Meanwhile in East Durham, characters from Dr Zeus, Oliver Twist, Ron Weasley from Harry Potter, Denis the Menace and even The Boy In The Dress were among those popping up at Easington C of E Primary School, in Easington Village.

Headteacher Andrea Swift read her favourite book, Superworm, by Julia Donaldson, to the children and there was a parade of outfits and a quiz.

Mrs Swift said: “We’ve had a brilliant day, I think it’s helped the children to take a step back from what we do every day and think more about reading.”

The Academy at Shotton Hall, in Peterlee, held a release of balloons tied with a recommendation of their favourite books, all Year 8 and 9 children received a free book, staff dressed as literary characters and there was a reading flash-mob in the dining hall.