Storybook characters take over the library

20:00, May 13 2012
The Rainbow Fairies: Charlotte Hammond, 9, Renwick School, Naiv Darry and Siobhan Hemingway 11 from Queen Charlotte College.

Professor Dumbledore left Hogwarts to come along, the Wicked Witch of the West followed Dorothy and the Famous Five even brought along a home-made picnic of sandwiches and ginger beer.

All of these characters and more came along to the Marlborough District Library in Blenheim on Saturday for the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards Great Book Character Hunt.

Organiser and Marlborough Girls' College librarian Colleen Shipley, who dressed up as Mrs Wishy Washy and brought her barnyard friends Cow, Duck and Pig, said the day was a great success.

About 150 children and their parents turned up to the event, which began in 2006 and is held every two years.

Each child had to search the library in order to get a stamp from the 19 characters on their card.

The Wicked Witch of the West was particularly frightening, causing many children to hide behind their parent's legs when they heard her cackle.


Callum McDonald, 8, of Mayfield Primary School, said the witch didn't frighten him though.

"I wasn't scared. But it was strange. She kept on speaking in a weird voice," he said.

Some characters had just as much fun playing dress-up.

Nine-year-old Renwick Primary School student Charlotte Hammond was one of the three Rainbow Fairies, along with Naiv Darry, 11, and Siobhan Hemingway, 11, both from Queen Charlotte College.

Marlborough mayor Alistair Sowman dressed up as Professor Dumbledore.

Despite saying he was getting very warm in his cloak and wig, he was glad his costume was different from the first one he wore.

"I asked for something different, because the first year, everyone kept pointing at me and saying `hey, it's the fat controller'."

The Marlborough Express