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Books Editorial

kidsbooks17.jpg Northern Children’s Book Festival!

The Northern Children’s Book Festival runs for two weeks in November, at schools across the region, and culminates in a fabulous free Gala Day that is taking place at South Shields’ magnificent The Word, the National Centre for the Written Word.

I’ve recently been scouring online second hand booksellers to snap up some of the children’s books that first fired my love for literature when I was young. It’s amazing how much I remember about them, with certain scenes still fresh in my head many years after I first read them. Developing a connection with books at a young age can lead to a rewarding, and lifelong, passion and this is something that The Northern Children Books Festival helps children nurture.

Their free Gala Day will, as ever, be bursting with inspiration, fun and wonder for ages 4-13 years and they’ve got a great line up of talent this year including The 2 Steves (pictured – Britain’s most popular comedy writing and performing act for young people). There will be opportunities to take part in creative writing workshops with Kate Fox and Dan Smith; illustration with Holly Sterling; artist-led workshops with artists Bethan Maddocks, Kate Eccles and Louise Bradley; 3D printing in FabLab; tales of near and far from storyteller Kudzai Pasiravi; the Shiver Me Timbers pirate exhibition; and the exciting panel game Tell Me a Story (the audience start the story and the panel of authors then have to continue the tale…)

Tickets for the author and illustrator sessions are free but need to be booked in advance. There will be a small charge for performance-led storytelling sessions in StoryWorld and the artist workshops. Drop-in crafts with the regional library services and storytelling for ages 4+ will be free. Full programme and details on how to book tickets from the website, below. (Note: Larger audience sessions will take place in St. Hilda’s Church, just over the road from The Word.)

Northern Children Book Festival Gala Day, Saturday 18 November, The Word, Market Place, South Shields, 10am-5pm. More info and tickets: northernchildrensbookfestival.org.uk