READING and stories of all kinds were celebrated at schools across Salisbury and south Wiltshire last week as part of activities centred around World Book Day on Thursday.

Many schools based reading weeks around the event, with visits from authors, journalists and other people involved in writing and storytelling as well as activities in which children came up with their own stories and even made their own books.

Staff and pupils at St Joseph’s School in Salisbury entered into the spirit of the event, choosing to base activities around the The Night Before Christmas, complete with Santa’s grotto and seasonal costumes.

At Chafyn Grove School author Caroline Lawrence, writer of the Roman Mysteries and PK Pinkerton stories spoke about her books and the craft of the writer.

And Chafyn was among several schools, including Larkhill Primary, to hold ‘drop everything and read’ sessions.

At Larkhill children also came up with 101 reasons why they love reading, and took photos of themselves and their families reading in special places for a school display.

Deputy headteacher Ian Bolton said: “The enthusiasm, interest and engagement with books that this week has generated has been tremendous.”

And at Coombe Bissett Primary School pupils organised events, with games throughout the day including book bingo and a Where’s Wally? competition.

Headteacher Debbie Cockrean said: “Organising the day themselves helps the children take a keen interest in reading.” said headteacher Debbie Cockrean. And children’s author Angel McAllister visited the school to read the children some of their favourite books. Book trails also proved popular with schools, but possibly the highlight of the day for many youngsters was the chance to come to lessons dressed as their favourite character from literature.

There were plenty of Cats in Hats, witches, wizards, dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and Romans, as well as cowboys, kings and various animals, large and small, with staff getting into the spirit as much as the children.

And at Waterstones in Salisbury, groups of children from St Osmund’s Primary and First Steps nursery visited to take part in fun book-related activities.