SCHOOLCHILDREN across Dorset celebrated their love of reading by dressing up for World Book Day.

Across the county pupils and many of their teachers donned fancy dress to portray their favourite book characters.

At St Clement’s and St John’s Infant School in Boscombe youngsters went one step further to spell out WE heart BOOKS in the school playground.

Characters included Spongebob Squarepants and the Gruffalo.

Literacy co-ordinator Sarah Baimbridge said children also took part in activities including reading for clues around the school, reading with ‘the big kids’ from neighbouring Bethany Junior and a book swap event. “It has been a packed day but they’ve all enjoyed themselves,” she added.

At nearby St Thomas Garnet’s in Parkwood Road, Hogwarts, Narnia and Middle Earth were well represented in the school dress-up day. Over at Sylvan Infant School, kids received a visit from Angela McAllister, who has penned a whole range of children’s tales, including Diggory the Dragon Slayer and The Snow Angel.

Poole Central Library welcomed author, Andrew Lane, the writer behind the Young Sherlock Holmes series, who spoke to students from Poole High School about the books and his inspiration for the stories.

He also gave each of the young people a signed copy of one of his books to take away with them.

Manorside Primary School also joined in the fun with a double celebration, which saw them cut the ribbon on their new school library, launched with a balloon release.