YOUNGSTERS across Wearside are celebrating the magical world of literature during World Book Day today.
Barmston Village Primary school in Washington was visited by characters from Cinderella who read the fairytale to pupils and donated books to the school.
Rhoda Ellis dressed up as one of the Ugly Sisters at the Waskerley Road school.
The community life champion from Asda Washington’s North East Clothing depot said it was a special event.
She added: “The children are just gorgeous. They were so engrossed in the story when it was being read out.
“They were asking questions about Cinderella and the costumes.
“It is the first time Asda has taken part in World Book Day and it’s good to have an event that revolves around education.”
World Book Day takes place in more than 100 countries and is an annual event to celebrate authors, illustrators, books and most importantly, reading.
Rhoda visited the nursery and reception school pupils with Asda colleagues Nicola Duke and Bianca Ames.
She said: “The kids loved it and the teachers were so jealous of our costumes.
“I believe we should do it every year.”
Young readers from Washington’s Lambton Primary School also enjoyed a close encounter with a children’s sci-fi writer as part of the event.
Niel Bushnell, from Hartlepool, had his first novel Sorrowline published last year, with its follow-up Timesmith published today. He met the pupils at Washington’s town centre library yesterday.
During the session, children were asked to come up with a good story plot and write it down.
Niel, 43, said he believed such events were important because they enabled children to grasp that being creative was within reach.
He added: “Events like this put young readers in touch with local authors, they can see that an author lives near them and is from the region.”
Niel, who has forged a career in animation, has worked as an animator on films including Space Jam and Lost in Space, as well as computer games Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and TV shows such as Tracy Beaker Returns and Hyperdrive. He only began to write with serious intent in 2009, and it was then that he came up with the storyline for Sorrowline, which won a Northern Promise award at the Northern Writers Awards 2011.
The book, the first of Niel’s Timesmith Chronicles, is a described as a “fantasy adventure” and features 12-year-old Jack Morrow.
Jack discovers he is a Yard Boy, someone with the ability to travel through Sorrowlines, the channels that connect every gravestone with the date of the person’s death. Timesmith, the second in the series, has Jack a year older, haunted by his past and trying to find his family in 1940s London.
l Are you taking part in World Book Day today. Send your pictures and details of your events to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the newsdesk on 501 7326.