Coventry did Mexican waves; north Wales sent out for extra sandwiches.
Reports from the regional heats of the Kids' Lit Quiz sponsored by The TES show a nation of book-mad 12 and 13-year-olds revelling in their enthusiasm, with audiences of teachers and parents on the edge of their seats. "It's tremendous fun, like a pub quiz without the beer," said author Celia Rees after the Coventry heat. "It's set up so the kids can work in teams. They don't feel nervous and daunted as if they're on University Challenge and they all get something right."
Around 800 Year 7 and 8 pupils are likely to have taken part by Thursday's final in Newcastle upon Tyne. The teams of four are mostly school-based with some entries from the Youth Agency's gifted and talented programme.
Thursday's national winning team will be invited to compete in the New Zealand final next summer.
Quizmaster Wayne Mills (pictured left), a lecturer in education from Auckland and New Zealand's children's books tsar, has a package of killer questions that takes in early childhood fairy tales and picture books, popular culture and series fiction as well as literary expertise.
To find out if your school has what it takes to match Wayne's wonder readers, try this selection from regional heats so far.
1 What type of big cat invades Joe Maloney's dreams and life in David Almond's novel Secret Heart?
2 In The Lion King, what is the name of the lion that was jealous of Simba's position as future king?
3 In Lion Boy by Zizou Corder, what special ability does Charlie have with cats (and big cats)?
4 Which lion offered himself to the White Witch to be killed?
5 Who has a golden monkey as her daemon in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy?
6 In which book do we read about the Muggle-Wump monkeys?
7 A novel written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1914 told of a young noble boy brought up by apes in the African jungle, who learns to speak the apes' language. What was the name of the boy?
8 What is the name of Tintin's dog (above right)?
9 What is the name of Dennis the Menace's dog in the Beano comics?
1 0 Who is the owner of Dogmatix?
1 1 Timmy the dog was the fifth member of which group?
Who said . . .?
1 2 "The man who can keep order can rule the world!" was the motto of the head of Manor Road school. What was he also known as?
1 3 "The time has come,... to talk of many things: Of shoes - and ships - and sealing-wax - Of cabbages and kings."
1 4 "This smelly brat, this filthy scum This horrid little louse Will very very soon become a lovely little mouse."
1 5 "Oh please don't go - we'll eat you up - we love you so!"
1 6 Which country won the final of the World Quidditch Cup?
1 7 What type of creature was Buckbeak?
1 8 Who was the ghost who haunted the girls' toilets at Hogwarts?
1 9 Name the librarian at Hogwarts.
20 What does the initial K stand for in JK Rowling?
Answers: 1. Tiger; 2. Scar; 3. He can speak Cat; 4. Aslan; 5. Mrs Coulter; 6. The Twits OR The Most Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl; 7. Tarzan; 8. Snowy; 9. Gnasher; 10. Obelix; 11. The Famous Five; 12. The Demon Headmaster; 13. The Walrus; 14. The Witches (by Roald Dahl) ; 15. The Wild Things (Maurice Sendak) ; 16. Ireland; 17. Hippogriff; 18. Moaning Myrtle; 19. Irma Pince (accept first or last name, or Madam Pince); 20. Kathleen.For results updates see www.tes.co.uk. Enquiries about next year's quiz to Eileen Armstrong: email@example.com