The success of a popular literary festival has encouraged organisers to shine the spotlight on young readers and children’s books for the first time.
The inaugural Lavenham Children’s Festival will run during October half-term on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 and host a fantastic 16 sessions, featuring authors and illustrators and providing something for all age groups – including parents and grandparents.
It will end with a special appearance by Chris Riddell, the UK Children’s Laureate, who will be live-drawing the answers to questions from the young audience.
Colin Rockall, secretary of the festival’s organising committee, said: “We have always involved a children’s author in the main literary festival through a visit to Lavenham Primary School.
“But we wanted to branch out this year and provide an event aimed at younger readers and, of course, their parents.
“We have put together a line-up which should appeal to all ages, including stories for pre-school children, ‘meet the author’ events, interactive sessions with writers and illustrators and small workshops on writing, illustrating, colouring and drawing.
“It has not escaped our notice that Hallowe’en will be very soon after the festival and we have sessions featuring ‘Scaredy Cats’, dragons and other flying things.
“There will also be an opportunity to purchase books and get them signed personally at the Festival.”
With the festival taking place just before Hallowe’en, ‘Scaredy Cats’ and dragons will be appearing while other highlights include author and comedian James Campbell, a rare opportunity to see author brothers Simon and Alex Scarrow together and author-illustrator
team Kevin Crossley-Holland and Jane Ray, with their presentation of ‘Heartsong’.
The festival takes place during Suffolk Libraries’ ‘Bookfest’ week and Colin said the committee was delighted to be working very closely with their popular local library service.
Ticket prices vary between £3 and £6 depending on the type of activity. Children must be accompanied to the festival by an adult, with one free ticket for an accompanying adult with each booking.
More information on the festival, including the full range of sessions and booking arrangements, can be found at http://www.lavenhamliteraryfestival.co.uk.