CHILDREN dressed up as their favourite characters from literature last week for World Book Day.
Last Thursday millions of children up and down the country took part in the celebration of reading set up by Tony Blair in 1995.
This year a live broadcast from London’s South Bank reached over 800,000 children in 21 countries across five continents.
Amanda Willmot of Thornborough Infants School said every one of their 39 pupils came into school dressed as their favourite character from literature. Staff also got into the spirit of things, including one who stayed in character as Percy the Park Keeper all day, complete with wheelbarrow and animals.
Mrs Willmot added: “Book day raises the profile of reading for the children. It gives them the chance to enjoying reading to other children and look at books they might not have looked at before.”
Children at Winchester House School in Brackley were helped to celebrate World Book Day by comic book artist Sarah McIntyre.
She led workshops using her comic book characters Vern and Lettuce and entertained children with readings from her picture books including Morris the Mankiest Monster (written by Giles Andreae), and You Can’t Scare a Princess (written by Gillian Rogerson).
Ms McIntyre said: “Reading is such a confidence builder. It lets people know there’s more out there than just the things they can see in front of them. If someone’s being horrible to them, they can see how people in books relate to other people, how they act, and compare those things to their lives, and make better decisions about how they want to act, and what they want to do.”
Head of English Louisa Farrow said: “By Saturday morning many of the children’s sketch books featured comic strips and cartoon drawings of an impressively high standard.”
The event also coincided with the launch of a book by a Helmdon author who is also a governor at Helmdon CofE Primary School. The school invited Niki Phillips to launch her book, The Liffey Flows On By, followed by an afternoon of cream tea and entertainment.
The book tells the story of a wealthy Irish family and starts in 1893 and continues through two world wars, ending in 1946.
Mrs Phillips said: “It was such a lovely idea from the school itself to host the launch. I really have been touched by the lovely support.”
Speaking about World Book Day, Mrs Phillips said: “Reading is hugely important to all children, regardless of their ability. It is vitally important in their intellectual development, it really makes a huge difference.
“And if you were to visit a school you can tell quite quickly which children are reading outside school and which children have parents who encourage them to read at home.”
Later Mrs Phillips held a book signing at the Old Hall Book Shop in Brackley.