Celebrate the joy of reading

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EVERY child in Northumberland will have the chance to get involved in the Northern Children’s Book Festival over the next two weeks as it celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Libraries across the county have arranged for five children’s authors and illustrators to visit various schools, talking about their books, telling stories and making pictures – with lots of opportunities for audience participation and questions.

The programme includes Tracey Corderoy going to Darras Hall First School on Thursday, November 14. She will treat pupils to an interactive storytime involving props followed by a fun craft session.

The Gala Day on Saturday, November 23, at Woodhorn museum is the climax of the two-week festival and it is free to children and parents.

Northumberland’s very own David Almond and Mick Manning, Brita Granstrom, Steve Barlow, Steve Skidmore, Karen McCombie and Korky Paul are just some of the authors appearing.

Although tickets for their sessions are now fully booked, they will be signing their books for everyone.

Other attractions include art and craft activities, drop-in storytelling sessions and face-painting. The Woodhorn Narrow Gauge Railway will also be running, weather permitting.

Coun Val Tyler, policy board member for community infrastructure and culture, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into making this year’s book festival the best yet for all our children.

“It’s a privilege to host this year’s Gala Day in Northumberland, especially on such a grand occasion as this, as the festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

“Encouraging children and young people to enjoy reading is very important and the value of what this event is all about – bringing a number of families together to celebrate children’s books and literature.”

Apart from all the Gala Day activities, there will also be an opportunity to take a look around Woodhorn museum free of charge. It delves into the story of coal mining in Northumberland.

There is a charge of just £1 to park all day on the site.

For more information about the visits and to book your free tickets for the Gala Day, visit your nearest county council-run library or go to www.mylibrary.co.uk and click on ‘children’.