It all began with a simple programme by a few children to enlarge their worlds and to spread the joy of the written word. One thing led to another and before they knew it, the whole school was in, with as many as 3,000 children taking part in a unique programme that celebrated literature.

Students at the SNDP Higher Secondary School in Udayamperoor near here on Tuesday embraced the magic of storytelling by wearing overcoats carrying the pictures of their favourite authors and books. The unique celebration, which also witnessed their teachers dressing up to the occasion, was organised as part of the Reading Week observance from June 19 to 25.

The observance was about exposing children to stories — both old and new — and to encourage them to continue picking up books, said E.G. Babu, school principal. “The pinning of their favourite books and authors generated enthusiastic discussion among students,” he added.

The ‘book shirts’ were created using a 70-metre cloth, on which pictures of the authors and the cover pages were imprinted, along with some inspiring quotes from the books. “The objective was to create the impression that each student was a book and to turn the whole school into a moving library,” the principal said.

The idea also succeeded in catching the imagination of the students.

“I was surprised to see Kunjunni Mash in the corridor and asked him a few questions about his works,” said Arun, a Class 6 student, who was excited to see pictures of great books and authors moving around him.

“I am what I wear,” proclaimed Aiswarya Babu, a Plus Two student, who wore the Gabriel Garcia Marques coat, which also carried quotes from his work, ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’.

“Putting on the coat has made me feel that I will become a writer in the future,” she added.

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