ISLE OF WIGHT school children have been left 'spellbound' after a local author visited and read her new book.

Island author Peta Rainford read from her latest children's book, Jacob Starke Loves The Dark, at Nine Acres Primary School in Newport yesterday (Wednesday).

Children gathered to hear the rhyming story about being brave, outer space, loving plants and animals and the importance of dark skies and connecting with nature and the stars.

Catrin Tingle English lead teacher at the school said: "At Nine Acres we love reading – so much so that we have extended our school day so that we can have a special story together before we go home.

"When the local author Peta Rainford offered to come and read her new book to us, Jacob Starke Loves The Dark, we couldn't wait! The children were spellbound by the magical story and illustrations and it really helped them to appreciate how lucky they are to have such dark skies on the Island.

"A huge thank you to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (Isle of Wight) Trust who have donated a copy of the book to us and every Primary School on the Island. We will all be heading out stargazing as a result."