YOUNGSTERS shared an old favourite with new friends when it came to a special reading project at a South Tyneside school.
Reception pupils from St James’ RC Primary in Solway Road, Hebburn, spent the day taking part in activities around the Shirley Hughes book, Dogger.
The classic children’s tale, about a boy losing his favourite toy, was shared with Year 2 pupils from Falla Park Primary in Felling, Gateshead.
The schools were paired up in September as part of a partnership project led by former South Tyneside headteacher Phil Grice.
Caroline Marshall, deputy headteacher at St James’, said: “We both wanted to look at reading both in school and with parents.
“We started with Dogger and we will be doing a book swap and readathon, with a celebration at the end of the school year.”
Pupils were asked to read the book at home before taking part in five different activities at St James’.
Local author Celia Bryce read to the children, who also played games inspired by the summer fair in the book and did arts and crafts.
Mrs Marshall added: “The children had a fab time.
“They loved meeting each other and it was great to see them making friendships and discussing the text with somebody different.
“It gets them interested in books without realising it’s reading. It’s an exciting way of doing it.”
Dogger was first published in 1977, yet remains a firm favourite with youngsters today.
For the 50th anniversary of the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2005, a panel of experts named Dogger one of the top 10 winning works.