An army of Matildas, Big Friendly Giants, and Oompa-Loompas descended on a Thornton school to celebrate the opening of its new library.
Pupils and staff at Royles Brook Primary School, in Marsh Lane, also raised over £200 for Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity as they dressed up as some of the author’s most famous characters .
The national event – called Dahlicious Dress Up Day – coincided with the opening of the school’s new library, which has undergone a £5,000 facelift funded by its PTFA, which also raised £2,000 for new books.
Literacy leader Carla Robinson said: “It was great fun and it was brilliant to bring the author to life.
“All the children went to the library and were able to look at the books and spend some time there.”
The youngsters used inspiration from some of Dahl’s best loved books, which have been the childhood cornerstones for decades, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach and The Enormous Crocodile.
We promote books in any way we can. They are very popular and the children take books home every week
School librarian Sharon Slate said: “It was great watching the children’s faces. They enjoyed it so much.
“We promote books in any way we can. They are very popular and the children take books home every week.”
The PTFA raised the cash for the refurb and books through its summer and Christmas fairs, regular film nights, which see pupils go to school in their pyjamas to watch their favourite flicks, and bingo evenings.
Dahlicious Dress Up Day saw kids around the country dump their school uniforms in exchange for £1 donations to the charity set up by the author’s widow Felicity after his death in 1990.
It changed its name from Roald Dahl Foundation to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity in November 2010, and has helped more than 4,000 seriously ill children and their families to date and has funded 400 grassroots projects.
From hot shot airman to one of the country’s best loved authors
Born in September 1916 in Cardiff, Wales, Roald Dahl released his first book at the age of 25.
‘Shot Down Over Libya’ told the story of Dahl’s wartime adventures and described how he was badly hurt after crashing his fighter plane in the desert just days after his birthday in 1940.
Dahl’s time in the RAF also gave birth to creatures more often linked with Hollywood than the Welsh author: The Gremlins.
Dahl’s children’s book, published in 1943, told of mischievous little creatures that were once only known as part of RAF folklore.
Gremlins became a household name after Joe Dante’s cult movie was released in 1984.
Dahl went on to write another 16 children’s books, as well as several poems, novels, and short stories. He died aged 74 in 1990.