Book festival puts young in spotlight

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The success of a popular Lavenham 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 over two days during October half-term and host 16 sessions, featuring authors and illustrators with fun for all age groups.

On October 28 and 29, the festival 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 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.”

He added: “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.”

Jan Foster, headteacher of Lavenham Primary School, said: “The Children’s Festival is a wonderful idea – anything that helps get children interested in books and reading should be welcomed and supported.”

Information and tickets available at http://www.laven hamliteraryfestival.co.uk.