Well-known book characters leapt from the pages to celebrate World Book Day.
Hundreds of children at schools and nurseries across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire dressed as Harry Potter, Matilda, Where’s Wally or other fictional creations to mark one of the most popular days in the academic calendar.
Teachers and staff organised a whole range of weird and wacky activities to highlight the importance of reading.
Among the familiar faces at First Steps Day Nursery, based at Stoke-on-Trent College’s Cauldon Campus, included a Very Hungry Caterpillar, the BFG and Goldilocks.
Manager Sarah Kirkham said: “World Book Day celebrates the importance of reading and the enjoyment to be gained, at all ages, from a good book.
“We’ve been celebrating with the babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers by taking part in a range of activities and raising money for the World Book Day nominated charities.”
Early years educator Charlotte Tomkins got into the spirit by dressing up as Lily from Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit.
The 22-year-old, of Basford, said: “All of the staff and children have been having fun today and it has been nice for the children to see us out of uniform and all dressed up.
“We have been reading books in the morning, such as Doc McStuffins, Peter Rabbit and The BFG and we’ve also bee drawing pcitures.
“It’s great to encourage a love of reading from a young age.”
It was the 21st World Book Day with more than 100 countries across the world.
All the children received a National Book Token which can be used to pick one of 10 selected free books at participating bookstores and book clubs.
The nursery’s deputy manager Angela Stubbs, of Newcastle, said: “We have children here aged from 12 weeks to four years and all have taken part in the day.
“The children in the two to three room have had a Wizard of Oz themed day. They’ve also had the chance to play with green jelly and rainbow pasta.
“It is all about developing an early interest in reading, communication and listening skills.”