Hundreds of Northumberland children will have the chance to meet their favourite authors during November as the 28th Northern Children’s Book Festival gets underway.
The festival is one of the largest children’s book events of its kind in the UK, and has now grown to involve libraries and schools across the North East of England, attracting two dozen top name authors to work in the region each November.
Northumberland County Council’s library staff have arranged for five children’s authors and illustrators to visit the county to meet children and young people. They will be talking about their books, telling stories and making pictures, with lots of opportunities for audience participation and questions.
The aim is to promote the message that reading is fun.
In the south east of the county, Darlington-based illustrator Liz Million will be inspiring children at Blyth’s Horton Grange Primary School on November 8 to draw fun characters and show how her books grow from sketches to final artwork.
Rob Lewis is a perennial favourite of NCBF. This year he will be entertaining children at the Northumberland Church of England Academy with his storytelling and story writing workshops. He will be visiting the Grace Darling and William Leech Campuses, both in Newbiggin, on November 9.
Teen author Cathy MacPhail will be talking to children in Morpeth about where ideas come from and how to build up the suspense, character and plot in a story. She is visiting Newminster Middle and Chantry Middle Schools on November 18.
In the north of the county popular author Alan Durant will be encouraging children to create their own exciting stories in his writing workshops when he visits schools in the Berwick area, as well as talking and answering questions about his life as a writer.
He will be visiting Longridge Towers, Spittal First and St Cuthbert’s RC Voluntary Aided First Schools during the day on November 7.
Finally, children in the North Tyne area will enjoy a high energy, fun-packed session when award-winning illustrator Lynne Chapman reads her latest books, draws pictures and teaches them some new songs. Lynne is meeting children at Acomb First, Bellingham First (with Kielder First) and Greenhaugh First Schools on November 15.
Councillor Neil Bradbury, Northumberland County Council’s executive member responsible for libraries said: “Our Summer Reading Challenge proved very popular and did a great job in keeping children reading over the summer. This festival builds on all the enthusiasm that was generated. If children get the opportunity to meet and talk to their favourite author and learn how they create their characters and write their stories, then this proves a huge incentive for them to keep on reading. “
The Northern Children’s Book Festival provides an opportunity for children to meet their favourite authors in person and find out how they create their characters and write their stories. Lots of the sessions are interactive with the children dressing up and taking an active part.
At the end they can buy a book and have it signed by the author as a permanent souvenir of the event.