TODAY’S World Book Day provides a perfect opportunity to get youngsters enthused about reading, by dressing up as their favourite storybook character.

And a host of weird and wonderful figures will be filling classrooms across the county.

Clare Bolton is campaign manager for the Oxfordshire Reading Campaign, the Oxford Mail-backed initiative aimed at increasing achievement in reading and fostering a love of the written word.

She said today’s event was the perfect opportunity to get youngsters engaged.

She said: “Children are often asked by their school to come in on World Book Day dressed up as a favourite book character.

“It’s a great opportunity to talk to your kids about the characters they like best in books and who they might want to be.”

St Nicholas Primary School, Marston, is among the schools which has signed up for the reading campaign.

And pupils have spent the last week planning their costumes for the big day.

Holly Fratter, 10, said: “I love reading because it’s exciting and fun. World Book Day is great as you can get creative with your own costume and see what everyone else dresses as, and find new books to read.

“I chose to go as Isobel from Enid Blyton’s The Twins at St Clare’s because that series was the first I read without any pictures and I really loved them, particularly because it was about boarding schools and midnight feasts.”

Neil Edmonds, seven, picked a Roald Dahl classic, George’s Marvellous Medicine.

He said: “I like reading because I can find out about new stories and then make stories of my own.

“George is my choice because he has a big imagination. I’d like to be like him.”

And Seth Edmonds, 10 said, chose Oxford author, JRR Tolkien. He said: “Reading is fun and it gives you something to do.

“I always read before I go to bed. “I don’t know why more boys don’t like reading because there are lots of good books out there.

“I chose Gandalf because he is my favourite character in The Hobbit – he’s very wise and always knows the right thing to do.

“Also I wanted to be him because two of my friends are dressing up as hobbits.

“The Hobbit is a good book to read because it’s intriguing and I never want to put it down.”



  • A Teddy Bears’ Picnic will take place at Thame Library, North Street, from 11am until noon, for under fives.
  • Youngsters at the John Watson School in Littleworth Road, Wheatley, are dressing up and expecting a visit from a giant gruffalo.
  • Headington School in Headington Road, Oxford, is also having a World Book-themed fancy dress day.
  • Visit Goring Library, in Station Road, between 10am and noon for free tea, coffee, biscuits and homemade cakes. There’s also a free prize draw to win a copy of the cookery book used to make the cakes.
  • Children’s education specialists RM Education, in Abingdon, will invite children from St Nicholas CofE School in East Challow to visit dressed as characters from their favourite books, and film a video podcast using green screen technology to create background scenery.


  • At Summertown Library, in South Parade, Oxford, Jo Sandelson will be reading extracts from her book The Barmies and invent an illustrated story with the children who attend. There will also be a story-writing competition for children aged seven to 10.