Youngsters are being invited to a series of events to mark World Book Day.
The Beacon and Forum shopping centres are hosting an afternoon of storytelling, fancy dress, face painting and prizes on Thursday, March 3.
Storytelling sessions will feature a number of classic children’s books read by Wallsend speech tutor, Carly Simpson, at The Forum and a storyteller from North Shields Library at The Beacon.
Children are encouraged to dress up as their favourite book characters – a best-dressed boy and girl at each centre will receive a free stack of children’s books.
In addition, professional face painter Amanda Moore will be on hand.
The World Book Day activity will take place from 11am at The Forum and from 2.30pm onwards at The Beacon. Face painting will only be available for the first hour of the event at each centre. However, storytelling sessions will continue afterwards as well.
For the benefit of children who may not be able to make it to the main afternoon session, The Beacon will also hold an earlier storytelling only session at 11.15am.
Parents are requested to bring their children to the free events five minutes before the start time.
David Menzies, centre manager at the Beacon Shopping Centre, said: “Literacy is so important for children and we like to think that we are doing our bit by making it as fun as possible.
“Therefore, we have partnered with the North Shields Library to make World Book Day memorable for our shoppers and their children.
“We have a great selection of children’s books to be won and we really look forward to seeing lots of little dressed-up book characters walking around the centre.”
Nick Lambert, centre manager the Forum Shopping Centre, said: “World Book Day is all about turning children into avid readers and we are proud to be a part of this movement.
“We are really pleased to be working with Carly to reach out to local children and get them interested in reading.
“The dressing up and prizes will make our storytelling session just a little more special.”