READERS across Leeds were today celebrating their love of literature.
Youngsters were dressing up as their favourite book character, with many turning up for school in fancy dress.
Book swaps were due to be held, competitions, reading workshops and book give-aways.
And as new research shows that over a quarter of UK parents are concerned about their children’s reading and writing ability, more provision than ever before is being put into school starters learning to read.
Research by Parkdean has shown that the average child is now learning to read for themselves at five years old, up to a year after their parents achieved this goal. One in ten children are also working at levels below their expected reading and writing ages at school.
But yesterday children’s book author Martin King, from Yeadon, visited St Oswald’s Junior School in Guiseley where he read out his latest book ‘Jack Hunter - The French Connection’ to youngsters.
He said: “My all time favourite book is Tin-Tin from childhood. Reading is so important for children, but society is changing and we have to move with it, so as well as traditional books, I came up with an interactive book. I love writing for children, I am a child at heart and get really excited about kids actually sitting down and reading my books.”
Instead of using a traditional book with paper pages he has created with interactive book company, iBO Live, an augmented reality interactive game, to run alongside the story in a bid to encourage children to read.
It is the second book in the Jack Hunter series aimed at 8-13 year olds and encourages young readers to actively participate in missions and hunt for treasure through the game.
The author, who has a grown up son, started writing full-time four years ago. He previously worked in marketing. He lead a series of interactive reading workshops marking World Book Day
and saw St Oswald pupils dressing up as their favourite book characters as well as reading sessions with Martin.
Elsewhere at Temple Moor High school, pupils and staff were due to arrive in fancy dress as their favourite book character with a book swap event taking place. Leeds based children’s author Joanna Gray, who wrote ‘Little Raindrop’, was due to appear at Sainsbury’s White Rose Centre today from 2pm.
Children at Drighlington Primary were writing their own short stories, after housebuilder Miller Homes gave a donation to their reading programme.