Festival brings fun of reading to life for local children

World Book Day Quiz compare and children's poet Gez Walsh sat at a table with Birkby Junior’s winning quiz team: Ansah Sabir, Alisha Amjad, Nabil Hamdun and Dominic Beaumont

Local children have met famous authors, found new books to read and love, and taken part in special events around Kirklees at the Pageturners Children’s Reading Festival, which has been taking place this month.

Author’s talks, storytelling, poetry, and workshops on arts, crafts and games were all on offer to children, young people and families as part of the celebration of reading. There were many well know authors taking part in events and visits to schools around Kirklees. Annabel Pitcher gave a talk about her teen fiction, Kate Pankhurst discussed her Marriella Mysteries series of books with children and Nick Sharratt, an illustrator and author of children’s books, led a family draw along for all ages with a picture book theme.

The festival started with an eruption of fun and entertainment on World Book Day, including storytelling sessions and street theatre. The day also included free writing workshops with authors, while a motley crew of book characters mingled with the crowd, including Captain Hook, the Queen of Hearts and the Snow Queen.

The launch also saw a special World Book Day quiz taking place for school children in Years 5-7, with 26 teams taking part and some even dressing up as their favourite book characters! Book prizes were given out between rounds to teams with the most correct answers. The winning team was Birkby Junior School (pictured below), who were worthy winners indeed! One of the team members had even sat up for most of the previous night to read in order to beat the opposition. Each member of the team won a £20 book token, along with special certificates and the coveted trophy. Second prize was won by Headfield CE JI & N School, and third prize went to King James’ School, with both teams receiving book tokens and certificates.

World Book Day Quiz compare and children's poet Gez Walsh sat at a table with Birkby Junior’s winning quiz team: Ansah Sabir, Alisha Amjad, Nabil Hamdun and Dominic Beaumont

Children’s poet Gez Walsh with Birkby Junior’s winning quiz team: Ansah Sabir, Alisha Amjad, Nabil Hamdun and Dominic Beaumont.

The celebration of stories culminated in a spectacular family fun finale event at the University of Huddersfield. The day included support from the very talented Nick Sharratt who led a ‘draw along’ with the families. He is renowned for his ‘Shark in the Park’ and ‘Socks’ books (amongst others), and for illustrating Jacqueline Wilson books.

The festival was delivered in partnership by Kirklees Council, Calderdale Council, First TransPennine Express, University of Huddersfield, Reading Matters and Arts Council for England.

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