Wizard effort from children on World Book Day

Children never need an excuse to throw on some fancy dress but World Book Day gave them the chance to pull out all the stops.

Staff and youngsters at Southwater Village Hall Pre-School certainly got creative with their costumes when they dressed as their favourite book characters on Thursday (March 3).

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Nursery manager Heather Clarke and her team found themselves welcoming everything from dinosaurs to Daleks, Peter Pan to Superman and even the The Tiger Who Came to Tea through the doors of the nursery in Church Lane. Staff threw themselves into the spirit of things with the likes of Batman and Noddy sharing books with the children.

Over at Shelley Primary School, in Broadbridge Heath, World Book Day rounded off the children’s Book Study Fortnight.

Those in the infant year groups had been reading traditional tales, while the junior classes had been inspired by a selection of titles challenging stereotypes.

One little girl proved the point when she chose Slug Needs A Hug as her favourite book on World Book Day.

Youngsters from St James CE School and Amberley CE School met up at the St James campus, in Coldwaltham, where they were joined by local author Alan Durant.

Mr Durant read extracts from his books and led writing workshops where he inspired the children to write their own story openings.

Amberley headteacher Jon Gilbert said: “A great day was had by all and the children who went home with plenty of ideas to help them with their writing.”

Students at Steyning Grammar School may have been older than those at Amberley and St James, but they threw themselves into World Book Day with gusto.

Dr Seuss and Roald Dahl were well represented, with one girl turning up as a rather impressive Violet Beauregarde, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, after she had been transformed into a giant blueberry having chewed a forbidden piece of gum.

They were joined by author Matt Whyman, who held a graphic novel workshop at the school.

At Farlington School, in Guildford Road, the Harry Potter books appeared to be the order of the day, with many a young witch and wizard waving their wands.

There was no shortage of old favourites, though, with Fantastic Mr Fox rubbing shoulders with Mary Poppins.

Back at Southwater, each child brought in their favourite book from home to share with their friends and teachers. Staff even read to them at the snack table while youngsters tucked into their fruit and milk.

One particularly amusing sight saw a teacher dressed as Wally from the Where’s Wally? books helping one little boy search for her character with a large magnifying glass while he munched on his grapes.

Over in the reading corner, story-telling audio books such as Little Red Riding Hood were played while the children followed the story in their books with great interest.

In the role-play corner, a kitchen was set up and some of the younger children acted out the story of Goldilocks with three cuddly teddy bears seated at a table eating imaginary porridge.

One little one declared: “We love the story of the three bears because we are three.”

Heather Clarke said: “This is another all-inclusive and fun opportunity for the children to handle books properly and be exposed to lots in one go.”

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