Piles of books and heaps of fun
If you’re in the Hertford area – or even if you’re not – and have some young readers to entertain (or non-readers to encourage), you cannot go wrong with the Hertford Children’s Book Festival which kicks off this Thursday at Hertford Theatre and is organised by local bookworms Freya North and Maureen Pegg.
There are events going on all over the place – some just for schools, most open to the public – but they’re selling out fast, so you’ll need to get a wiggle on and whizz over to the HCBF website if you want tickets.
The gala opening has authors, actors and performers reading from favourite children’s books – and then a theatrical production of Anthony Horowitz’s hilarious book The Falcon’s Malteser (our eldest loved it).
For the geeky among you (and I definitely count myself among that number), Holly Smale – her of the Geek Girl series – will be scoffing cupcakes and celebrating all things geeky. (Did you know she’s from Welwyn Garden City? No, neither did I.)
There’s also a special screening of the recent Paddington film, along with a chance to meet Samuel Joslin and Madeleine Harris, who play Jonathan and Judy, afterwards.
And surely no children’s book festival would be complete without a certain wizard making an appearance, right? Boy, Wizard, Hero is all interactive and hands-on family fun – and you get to see which house the sorting hat would put you in. (I’m definitely a Hufflepuff…)
And there’s loads more. Honestly, whatever age your reader is, there’s bound to be something to keep them turning the pages. And it’s a great chance to reminisce about what you loved to read as a child, too.
I talked recently to the festival’s organisers Freya North and Maureen Pegg, and asked them what their favourite children’s books were.
Carbonel by Barbara Sleigh
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
The Jill books by Ruby Ferguson
The Hairy Maclary books by Lynley Dodd
The entire works of Roald Dahl
The Boy With The Bronze Axe by Kathleen Fidler
Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Peter Pan by JM Barrie
Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Got me thinking about my favourites, too, and I just can’t choose – there were so many. I know that I loved The Talking Parcel by Gerald Durrell. The Borrowers. All the Chalet School series. Oh, and Mallory Towers. And… and…
What were your favourites? I love to hear – pop them in the comments below? And enjoy the festival!