Redbridge schoolchildren celebrate the joys of reading on World Book Day

Schoolchildren celebrated the joys of reading and came to school in costumes from Harry Potter to Treasure Island across Redbridge yesterday.

To mark the 15th World Book Day, the borough enjoyed a host of colourful events including a visit from acclaimed fantasy author Eoin Colfer.

And as our photo gallery shows, children dressed in a variety of wonderful costumes inspired by their favourite literary characters. Mr Colfer, the Irish writer behind the popular Artemis Fowl books for young adults, enthralled over 350 pupils from 15 schools on a visit to Ilford County High School, Fremantle Road, Barkingside.

The 46-year-old read and signed copies of his novels for young adults and displayed an impressive “gift of the gab” according to school librarian Paula Saffer, who judged the day a roaring success.

She said: “It was amazing and definitely the best event we have had at the school for a very long time.

“He didn’t speak too much about the books, it was more about him but that allowed the kids to see just how full of ideas he is.”

Mr Colfer said: “I had a fantastic time here and the kids were very attentive.”

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At Coppice Primary School, Manford Way, Chigwell, pupils and teachers dropped everything to pick up a book throughout the day.

Dressed as their favourite book characters, pupils listened out for a bell that would tell them when to dive into their book, or listen to a teacher read.

Headteacher Jo Coton said: “Reading is a really high priority for us which is why we made such an effort today.

“Awards were given out in each class for the best costumes and we had everything from Dickens’ characters to Rastamouse.”

Pupils at Farnham Green Primary School in Royal Close, Seven Kings, learned about the books and authors behind their favourite films.

Teachers made sure children didn’t just know their Harry Potters and Dorothys from the big-screen versions but appreciated the original stories as well.

Pupils were dressed as characters from Where’s Wally? to Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland with a top costume being picked in each year group.

Stand-out costumes included a Roman from Horrible Histories, the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz and the Queen of Hearts.

And staff got in on the act too.

Deputy head Melanie Dye came to school as a pirate from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

She said: “We had a very successful day.

“It was really appreciated by children and parents.”

At Ray Lodge Primary School, Snakes Lane East, Woodford Green, princesses rubbed shoulders with pirates and gangsters.

Acting deputy headteacher Robyn Shears said:

“Nearly all the 650 children dressed up and I myself was an escaped criminal.

“The kids were taught what makes a good hero and villain and then asked to make their own comic book.”

And an Oscars-style ceremony rounded off the day at Eastcourt Independent School in Eastwood Road, Goodmayes.

Pupils were rewarded after a series of competitions to decide who had the best hat or bonnet or who could design the best book cover for example.

Pupils tried out arts and crafts by creating book settings in a shoe box or crafting a character out of a plastic bottle.

Some children wrote their own stories updating classic fairy tales to 2012.

Headteacher Christine Redgrave said: “We had a really fun day and children learned about the money they’d raised as well.”

Through �1 donations, �200 was raised at the school for the Book Aid charity.