Characters Come Alive for World Book Day
Thursday, 05 March 2015
Pupils at Hesketh House Junior Girls’ School celebrated World Book Day by bringing their favourite literary characters to life. Mrs Mary Worsley, the teacher who organised the day’s festivities, said, “Imagine awaking from a dream to find yourself in a room filled with different characters from all of the books that you have read and encountered from childhood. Such was the experience when I walked into assembly this morning!”
The Gruffalo and Stick Man from Julia Donaldson’s stories were in attendance, as were a host of fairies from the Rainbow Magic book series. Lots of children chose to dress up as characters from literary classics. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was one of the most popular choices, with girls representing Alice herself, the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and even Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee. Mrs Winifred Banks, the suffragette from P. L. Travers’s Mary Poppins, made an appearance decked in her ribboned hat and with the WSPU badge emblazoned on her coat to advertise the cause! The Cat in the Hat and Fantastic Mr Fox rubbed shoulders with Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, and magic was in the air with Harry Potter and Matilda around. David Walliams’s Gangsta Granny, Demon Dentist and The Boy in the Dress also showed up to take part.
The pupils and their parents made a huge effort with the costumes, which showed the wide range of reading material that the girls enjoy. There was even one girl dressed as Anne Frank!
During the morning’s World Book Day assembly, Mrs Worsley created a brief drama based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She took on the part of Mr Willy Wonka himself, while Year 6 pupil Madihah Jiva played the unruly Violet Beauregarde. They used the dialogue from the book itself to inspire the drama, and ‘Violet’ changed from child to giant blueberry right before the girls’ eyes! Mrs Worsley suggested that pupils might try this out for themselves with their friends, using their favourite books as a script to bring the action to life.
The morning progressed with a screening of The BFG, after which the girls had a surprise visit from A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh – otherwise known as Junior Girls’ Headmistress Mrs Ruth Brierley! This jovial note to the World Book Day celebrations was well received by the girls.
Many of the day’s activities were themed around World Book Day, including literature-themed language lessons and the opportunity to draw characters in the style of Quentin Blake, the famous illustrator of many children’s books. One of the crowning features of the festivities was amassing a collection of ‘literary bricks’ that pupils made using excerpts from their favourite books and their opinions on them. These have been used to construct a ‘literary wall’ inside Hesketh House, which will inspire the girls to read more widely based on their friends’ recommendations.
Mrs Worsley said, “From the enthusiasm the children have expressed in compiling these excerpts and logging their opinions on the bricks, I feel reassured that reading is still a very much sought after activity for relaxation, enjoyment, and as essential brain food. We have had a wonderful day!”