Storybook heroes and fairytale villains leapt off their pages and straight into Henley schools for World Book Day this week. One of the Easter term’s most anticipated events, Thursday 7th March saw a catwalk of fictional characters, and a few autobiographical authors to boot, as children donned their literary costumes. The annual occasion was a celebration of the written word, and a significantly less dramatic story compared to last year’s snowy twist!
Across the schools, students of all ages dressed up as their favourite book characters. Many a Where’s Wally and Hogwarts witch made their usual appearance, standing proudly alongside Sherlock Holmes and Mary Poppins – the latter a particularly popular pick this year. Inventive students at Gillotts school used a lesser chosen tale as their inspiration, dressing up as God, Jesus, and Judas from the Bible. Even teachers got involved, transforming into the likes of Cruella De Vil, Professor Trelawney, and yes — another Mary Poppins!
Many schools encouraged students to share their favourite fables via book swap boxes. The cardboard boxes, decorated by the children, were scattered around Trinity and Sacred Heart Primary Schools, inviting the kids to leave their much loved stories in exchange for a new one. Meanwhile, at St Mary’s, the students took part in a poetry slam before spending the afternoon reading to each other. Similarly, Sacred Heart held a special story time, where teachers and governors read hysterical books such as ‘I Need A New Bum’, ‘Poo In The Zoo’ and ‘Cinderella’s Bum’ (there seems to have been a theme).
World Book Day was also an opportunity to raise money for Book Aid, the UK based charity providing books to people around the world. At Gillotts, a break time cake sale collected £188 for the organisation. Combined with the £1 costume donations, this took the total raised by the school to over £200.
Henley’s World Book Day celebrations were a full of fun and excitement from start to finish, a truly marvellous way to mark the joy of reading.