LITERATURE was brought to life in South Tyneside as the page took centre stage for World Book Day.
The annual celebration of the written word proved a huge hit as youngsters all over the borough got dressed to impress as their favourite book characters.
Young minds roamed free at Monkton Infants, in St Simon Street in South Shields, as pupils took part in Alice in Wonderland-inspired events throughout the week – capped off by classes crammed with costume-clad kids yesterday.
As well as plenty of Alices, there were Mad Hatters, White Rabbits and Cheshire Cats in all corners of the school.
Clare Askwith, Deputy Headteacher at Monkton Infants, said: “We’ve been doing an Alice in Wonderland theme all week, with the culmination of that being everyone dressing up as characters from the book.
“Everyone looked great – our parents always do us proud.
“We had lots of Alices, but also every character in the book was covered, with White Rabbits, Cheshire Cats, Mad Hatters, Queen of Hearts. The theme has really enhanced the learning for the pupils.
“They’ve been learning about the characters all week.
“It is also transferred into all other lessons, such as numeracy and history, and we’ve been looking up the book on the internet.
“All the staff got dressed up as well – we had assembly taken by the Queen of Hearts.”
Central Library, in Prince Georg Square, South Shields, used World Book Day as a platform to spread a passion for prose to even younger readers.
The library relaunched its Book Start Bear Club, a scheme aimed at getting under fives reading along with their parents, with the help of a visit from Book Start Bear.
Other attractions at the library included a reading chair where a series of guests, including library staff past and present and South Tyneside Council Deputy Leader, Coun Alan Kerr, read snippets from their favourite books to visitors.
Events were held at all libraries across the borough, including reading sessions for adults at Hebburn Library.
Clare Craig, families and intergenerational librarian for South Tyneside Libraries, said: “It’s been a very enjoyable day. There’s been a real buzz about the place, and a party atmosphere.
“The day is all about promoting reading and how you can access reading through the library. Lots of people have today, as we’ve had great numbers visiting.”
There was more fun with fiction at Westoe Village Kindergarten, in St George’s Avenue, South Shields, as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, entertained little ones.
Sammy-Jo Bettley, nursery manager at Westoe Village Kindergarten said: “The children have been very excited for Belle, from Beauty and the Beast, to visit us. Belle is Emma Enchanted, a lady who is self-employed and who dresses up as all Disney princesses.
“All the children dressed up in their favorite book character we had many princesses and superheroes.
“Belle read the children Beauty and the Beast, sang a range of songs from the story and also demonstrated a small dance to the children. All the parents and carers have donated £1, which the nursery will use to purchase new books for the children.
“The children have had a fantastic time, and it was lovely to see the children’s faces light up when she walked in.”