CHILDREN across Bury dressed up as their favourite fictional characters to celebrate World Book Day.

Among the borough’s schools to take part were Elton Primary School in Alston Street and First Steps Nursery in Orrell Street.

Elton Primary’s pupils turned up in a wide array of creative costumes, from Where’s Wally? to The Smurfs.

They each took part in activities such as role play and book reviews.

Tracie Wilson, a Year One teacher and librarian at the school, said: “It was an amazing day — it went down an absolute treat. It was great to see the children’s love of books, because reading is a vital skill.”

Staff and children at First Steps Nursery came out in force, including the centre’s director Richard Brooks, who dressed as Shrek, and Oliver Mason, who was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

The children brought in their favourite books, wrote their own book reviews and were taken on a book-themed bear hunt in the school playground.

Nicola Brooks, manager of First Steps, said: “Reading is a fundamental skill and these children will use it all their lives, so it’s very important we embrace their love of learning and give them the best possible start in life.”

The daughter of a famous children’s author regaled youngsters with excerpts from her father’s books during a visit to Bury’s Lowercroft Primary School.

Juliet King-Smith, daughter of the late Dick King-Smith, also took part in a question and answer session and returned to the Ashington Drive school to meet up with more youngsters and to say “thank you to the school”.

Her visit was the highlight of a week-long programme of activities to co-incide with World Book Day. Events included children and staff dressing up to reflect their favourite literary characters, the visit of a performance artist and a design a book cover competition.

Children who had earlier read the books of Dick King-Smith, including his best known works The Sheep-Pig and Babe the Gallant Pig, were delighted to hear passes read by his daughter. The well-known film Babe was adapted from one of his books.

Viv Barlow, of Lowercroft, said: “During the question and answers, she was asked what it like to be the daughter of a famous author, how her father had planned his stories.”