I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves - Anna Quindlen.
Fantastic for both children and adults
Last put on in 2010, the Wessex Children's Book Festival was a huge success. The huge range of authors is an inspiring opportunity for both children and adults to experience. Winchester Discovery Centre believed the festival helped to advance children's literacy skills. Due to the huge success of the festival, Winchester Discovery Centre has decided to hold one again from Tuesday 30th October to Friday 2nd November. Below are the list of events being held;
Tuesday 30th November
Andrew Cope and Lara – Spy Dog Extraordinaire!
10.30 – 11.30am followed by book signing.
Age: 5 Cost: £5 This event was one of the most popular in the 2010 festival. Spy Dog Rollercoaster! and Spy Pups Training Schools are the new Summer 2012 Blockbusters! New to come out in 2013 is Spy Cats. Andrew is Lara's owner. Andrew's books are based upon Lara's adventures as a 'spy dog'. At this event you can meet both of them as well as learning about future missions Lara is set to undertake.
T-shirt Printing 9.30am – 12.30pm Age: 8 and their families Cost: £8 You will need to bring a light coloured T-shirt. You can create your own design inspired by your favourite book. Lucy will help you make a paper stencil and then screen print it onto your shirt. A good activity for anyone interested in art and anyone who has a favourite design they'd like to wear.
Be an Illustrator for the Day
2.30pm – 4.30pm
Age: 8 and their families
In this event you can learn how to use block printing, stencilling, mono printing and embossing to make your own illustrations. A brilliant activity for any aspiring illustrator or anyone who just enjoys art.
2.30pm – 3.30pm followed by a book signing
Paul Geraghty has published a number of illustrated stories about dinosaurs, penguins, elephants and cats. During this session, Paul will talk about how he created his characters as well as drawing them for the audience.
Wednesday 31st October
10.30am – 11.30am followed by signing
David Melling is an award winning author of many picture book who is famous for Hugless Douglas and The Kiss that Missed. You can come meet the author and illustrator himself.
Hands-on Dinosaur Show
10.30am, 12.00pm & 2.30pm
Age: 6 - 9
Lesley the dinosaur lady brings her per dinosaur – Viv the Velociraptor. You will learn how real dinosaurs lived, ate, gave birth and what their environment was like using lots of stories, jokes, real fossils and life-like models. You can also handle some real life fossils. A great opportunity for children to learn more about these historical creatures if they are interested in them or haven't learnt much previously.
Amazing Pop-up Workshop with Robert Crowther
12.00pm – 1.00pm followed by signing
In this workshop you can create your own pop-ups with Robert Crowther. You will learn the mechanics to creating your own pop-up and will be able to take it away with you. A fantastic activity for all the family and you get to learn a fun skill!
Alex Scheffler – Creator of The Gruffalo
2.30pm – 3.30pm followed by book signing
This is probably going to be one of the most popular events in the festival due to the huge success of The Gruffalo. Axel will talk about his characters and maybe draw some of them for you during the session. This event is supported by Macmillan Children's Books.
Thursday 1st November
What's That Around the Corner?
10.00am – 11.30am
Ages: 6 – 10
Cost: £5 (accompanying adult free)
For all explorers out there, find all the answers in the books of the Discovery Centre and bring them to life on stage. There may even be a sing and dance during the adventure.
All Aboard for Thomas and Friends
12.30pm – 1.30pm
Storytelling from Liz Fost on all the exciting adventures Thomas and Friends experience.
David McKee & Tony Ross
10.30am – 11.30am followed by book signing
The author/illustrators of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant and The Little Princess give an insight into their writing and illustration. Supported by Andersen Press.
Blast Off with Steve Cole
2.30pm – 3.30pm followed by book signing
Author of Astrosaurs and Cows-in-Action books as well as the Slime Squad books. He is described as 'slightly wacky' so it should be an event full of fun and laughter.
Children's Poetry Workshop with Brian Evans-Jones
2.30pm – 5pm
Ages: 12 – 16
In this event you can learn how to get more ideas when writing poetry as well as better ways to write them. Hampshire Poet 2012, Brian Evan-Jones, will give you some of his tips and tools that will help improve your writing and confidence. This will be useful if you are planning to go to the Children's Poetry Cafe on Friday 2nd November.
Looking for Lost Stories: A Writing for Children Workshop
6.30pm – 8.30pm
Using memory, word play and writing games, this workshop will help develop stories pitched at children and teenagers. Jude Waite teaches creative writing at the University of Winchester and is an award winning author of picture books to young adult novels and 'crossover' fiction. A useful event for any aspiring children's authors or those that enjoy writing stories in their spare time.
Friday 2nd November
10.30pm – 11.30pm followed by book signing
Author of The Tiger who came to Tea or When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit comes to discuss how her books came to be written. An insight into the author's life and books. Interesting event for any fans of this successful author.
The 'Horrible Science' Best Bits Show with Nick Arnold
In this session you can meet the author of the best selling Horrible Science series as well as Rotten Experiments, Measly Medicine and Savage Surgery. Nick Arnold will have evil experiments, scary stories and queasy quizzes planned for you. This is a fantastic family fun event.
Georgina Hall – Storybook
10am – 12pm
Ages: 4 – 7
2pm – 4pm
Ages: 8 – 11
Cost: £10 or two for £16 (accompanying adult free)
Children under 8 years of age need to be accompanied by an adult. In this event you can create your own story on artist's water colour paper and fold it into your own book to take home. Perfect for any children that are aspiring authors.
Shake, Stomp and Speak!
2.30pm – 4pm
Ages: 8 – 11
Stories need sounds such as Whizz, Boing! And Kerplunk! You can make a story and bring them to life with your own sounds using your voices, body or even objects.
2.30pm – 3.30pm followed by limited book signing
An extremely exciting event that I really want to attend myself (but I don't know if I am a bit too old?!). You can hear about the inspirations behind this successful author's novels, her life as an author as well as some of her latest work. Jacqueline Wilson is possibly one of the most popular authors of all time so this will be a very popular event. Book soon if you want to attend. Tickets for this event are available from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 01962 840440. This event is supported by Random House Children's Books.
Children's Poetry Cafe
You can share the poetry you have written in a friendly environment. A maximum of three poems may be read by each child. One of your poems must be on the theme of 'Books and Reading'. This is an exciting opportunity to receive feedback on your work as well as gaining confidence by reading to an audience. As it is a free event you can bring along friends and family to listen to your work. Young poets, or their parents/carers, should register by phoning the Literature Officer on 01962 846018.
I should probably mention this; Children of 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Tickets must be purchased by an adult wishing to accompany unless otherwise specified. A parent or guardian must also complete an enrolment form for 8 to 17 year olds taking part in an activity unaccompanied.
Hopefully you can see a few activities and/or events that you would enjoy or your children will. I think there is a good line-up and plenty on offer for you to experience.