CHILDREN from schools across Wiltshire showed plenty of creativity by dressing up as their favourite story characters for World Book Day last week.

There was no problem finding Wally at Queen’s Crescent Primary School, Chippenham, as the school was invaded by hundreds of the colourful chap.

Almost 350 pupils and 30 members of staff came to school dressed as the red-and-white-striped character from the Where’s Wally? books to celebrate the 16th annual World Book Day last Thursday.

Even headteacher Julia Hawkins got kitted out in a stripey T-shirt, bobble hat and glasses.

Teaching got a little confusing as everyone looked the same, said admin supervisor Carol Boddy.

“Nearly everyone took part and there was a really nice atmosphere around the school,” she said.

Over at St Paul’s Primary School, also in Chippenham, there was a blast of colour when pupils came in as princes and princesses, characters from Harry Potter and Dennis the Menace.

Children took part in a book swap, exchanging their old books for a raffle ticket which allowed them to pick out a new one to read.

Staff also organised two competitions for the chance to win a £5 book token. While the younger children were asked to design a poster of their favourite book characters, the older children wrote letters persuading teachers to read their favourite stories.

Head teacher Sheridan Upton, who dressed up as Captain Blackbeard, said: “There was lots of creativity from children and staff as well. One of the staff members was Mrs Twit.

“The children really enjoyed not only dressing up themselves, but seeing each other and staff taking part.

“They were really animated and supportive and complementary of each other.

“It’s a lot of work for parents to get their children ready and we were really pleased and grateful they could put the effort in.”

A total of 212 pupils and 35 staff at Southbroom Infants School, Devizes, were transformed into characters such as Paddington Bear, Wally, Snow White, Harry Potter and Bo Peep.

At assembly, each class marched around the hall to show off their costumes and were clapped by their friends and staff.

One class is doing a geography topic on Where’s Wally?, which explained the large number of Wally characters.

The school spent all week working on book topics, including a family learning event where 55 parents joined their children to make props from materials supplied by Wiltshire Scrapstore.

The props related to stories they were reading and included castles, rockets and volcanoes.

Pupils from Devizes School also took part by reading stories.

Headteacher Jan Wilson said: “The children have enjoyed the focus on stories.

“They have been reading their favourite stories, sharing them and acting them out.”

World Book Day encourages literacy and taking pleasure in reading and is marked in more than 100 countries all over the world.