YOUNG bookworms throughout Huddersfield have been celebrating the eighth annual World Book Day.

It is a celebration of books and reading and is marked in more than 30 countries.

It originated in Catalonia, Spain, where roses and books were given as gifts to loved ones on St George's Day - a tradition started some 80 years ago.

In Huddersfield, children at Spring Grove Junior School were entertained by book illustrator Lynne Chapman at a story-telling session.

Lynne, from Sheffield, used puppets to tell the stories at Huddersfield Library.

Highburton First School pupils and staff celebrated by dressing up as their favourite literary characters. They included Snow White, Harry Potter, Cinderella and the Ugly Sisters, witches and Prince Charming.

Head teacher Roy Hobbs, who dressed as Rupert Bear, said: "It has been a fun day to encourage children to read more books."

Pupils and staff at Christ Church Woodhouse CE Junior and Infant School at Deighton also dressed up as their favourite book characters.

One class dressed as characters from Alice In Wonderland - including the Queen of Hearts, Alice, the Mad Hatter and playing card soldiers.

They had stories read to the them by special guests, including Huddersfield Town centre forward Delroy Facey and Huddersfield Giants' mascot Big G.

Helen Day, literacy co-ordinator at the school, said: "World Book Day really works to raise the profile of reading."

Pupils at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Dalton also had special guests reading to them.

Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Paul Rabuchka read a story to pupils of Years 5 and 6, along with school governors and parents. The infant pupils were read to by Huddersfield Giants' mascot Big G.

Judith Wood, literacy co-ordinator and Key Stage 1 teacher, said: "We tried to get male role models in particular because boys tend to be more reluctant to read.

"They tend to go for factual books which is fine, but we are trying to give them as much variety as possible."