NORTH AUGUSTA - Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and the Tin Man paraded around Hammond Hills Elementary on Thursday to celebrate the visit of author Michael Buckley.
The fairy tale characters are part of Mr. Buckley's The Sisters Grimm book series that has become a hit at the school.
After reading the book to her fifth-grade class, Nikki Mock said she wanted to share the series with the entire school. By October, she was planning a parade to bring the characters to life.
"When reading the books, I told the kids how authors are real people and they could e-mail Mr. Buckley," Ms. Mock said. "The publisher loved the idea (of the parade) and said they wanted to come to the school."
Fifth-graders covered themselves in paint and make-up and donned tiaras and ugly masks representing each person the sisters Sabrina and Daphne encounter.
The series chronicles the sisters' lives as descendants of the famous Grimm brothers, who wrote many of today's best-known fairy tales. Pupils from other grades dressed up to represent characters from their favorite books.
Mr. Buckley served as the grand marshal of the parade, and top readers from each grade followed him in golf carts. At the end of the parade, Mr. Buckley was almost knocked down with so many children requesting his autograph. Some even wanted their foreheads signed.
"This is what you dream of happening when you write a novel," Mr. Buckley said. "It is such an honor and a privilege to do this as a job."
Mr. Buckley said he got the idea for the series after seeing a book of fairy tales at a party.
"I wondered what it would be like to be in that family," he said. "After that day, I couldn't think about anything else but this story."
Although the sisters' adventures are humorous, Mr. Buckley was sure to include life lessons to each story.
"The books look at fear of abandonment, prejudice and even the addiction of magic," he said.
The books' popularity created a waiting list in the library, which teachers like because the book doubles as an English lesson.
"I love all the figurative language, and that he included similes, personification and definitions with context in the book," said Bonnie Morris, a fifth-grade teacher. "This is just something that engages the children's imagination, and there is something for everyone in it."
Children's eyes light up when describing favorite scenes, as if they are playing the roles themselves.
"Harry Potter cannot compare to The Sisters Grimm," said Evan Connor, 10. "There is action for boys and fantasy for girls."
The fourth book in the series will come out next month.
Reach Julia Sellers at (803) 648-1395, ext. 106, or email@example.com.