CHILDREN across Colchester are dressed up as their favourite characters today to celebrate World Book Day.

Pirates, Disney princesses and superheroes can be spotted across the town, as schools mark the annual event.

Melody Lowe, headteacher at St Andrew’s Primary School in Greenstead, said: “I think it is important that children develop a love of books very early on.

“It improves their writing and gives them a hobby.

“It is a very lively day. There is a lot of buzz and excitement.”

A four-page picture special will be in tomorrow’s Gazette and more photos from the day will be in Monday’s paper.