PUPILS are excited to return to school to see their favourite books and characters brought to life on a 10-metre mural outside their classrooms.

The painting, which spans the length of Ysgol Cefn Meiriadog's main corridor, is being created by artist Lizzie Smith in a half-term project that is expected to take a total of 43 hours to complete.

It features the a bookshelf of books chosen by pupils with classics such as the Animals of Farthing Woods, the Chronicles of Narnia and the Tiger Who Came to Tea, as well as more recent publications including the Gruffalo and the David Walliams series.

Pupils have chosen which books, characters and quotes will feature on the mural.

Pupils have chosen which books, characters and quotes will feature on the mural.

There are also quotes from the books as well as celebrated children’s authors J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis.

Mrs Smith, 27, a talented animal portrait artist and supply teacher, decided to volunteer at the primary school while schools are closed under lockdown restrictions.

She spent 18 hours creating a digital design for the plan and the painting itself is expected to take another 25 hours.

“I had time so I decided to volunteer and I was willing to do anything when the headteacher suggested brightening up spaces for children for when they come back after half term and make them excited to come back," she said.

Mrs Smith, who attended Ysgol Cefn Meiriadog as a child, offered to volunteer during lockdown.

Mrs Smith, who has lived in Cefn Meiriadog all her life, offered to volunteer during lockdown.

“It is refreshing to see that there is such a mix of books from absolute classics that I read as a child to new and modern books.

“The pupils have been completely involved from the beginning and seeing their ideas come to life has been a really big thing for them.

“They picked some of their favourite books and from those they chose their favourite characters which will be brought to life, peeping round books and climbing on top of them.”

Mrs Smith’s recent commissioned work has included hyper-realistic portraits of dogs and horses but she has created art from a young age and finds it easy to turn her hand to cartoons.

“Working on a vertical surface has been difficult because it is not something I’m used to,” she said.

Art materials including primary colours and paint pens were donated by Bramsborough Paints.

Art materials including primary colours and paint pens were donated by Bramsborough Paints.

“I will aim to do several metres over half term and continue it over the next few weeks by growing either side of the painting.

“The children have chosen this design and it is what they want to see on the wall. Having seen them so excited about reading is lovely.

“I’m really pleased with how we are doing so far.”

Art materials have been donated by Bromborough Paints in Abergele, including large tins of primary colours, a base and paint pens.

It is hoped the mural will help to lift the school environment following a difficult year for pupils and staff.

Laura Martin, Ysgol Cefn Meiriadog headteacher, said: “The project has had a really positive impact on the whole school. The children have been involved from the beginning which is so important and will mean so much more when they see the completed mural.

“It has been an incredibly challenging year so having something to look forward to, and be involved in, has helped to raise spirits and has brought the whole school together.

“We are incredibly grateful to Lizzie for giving up her time to complete this for us and cannot wait for the children to see it once they return to school."