Ready, Steady, Read book festival for kids

On your marks and get set for Tameside Council's first-ever virtual children's book festival.

‘Ready, Steady, Read!’ which runs from February 24 to March 12, has been designed to give children, families and teachers a chance to engage with popular authors and illustrators using Zoom.

Running in conjunction with the Tameside Loves Reading campaign, its aim is to enhance young people’s experience of books, and to encourage them to use Tameside’s libraries to improve their literacy skills and develop a lifelong love of reading and learning.

The programme features well-known figures from children’s literature including author Caryl Hart who has worked with families to create storybooks as part of the council’s  Story Makers projects for the under-fours.

Poet, performer and educator Joshua Seigal starts things off on Wednesday, February 24, (1.45pm) followed by:

• Monday, March 1, (11am) Shoo Rayner: Shoo is the illustrator of more than 300 books. His mission is to teach, inspire and promote drawing as the essential tool of creativity.

• Tuesday, March 2, (11am, 1.30pm, 6pm) Fables at the Kitchen Table: Online theatrical storytelling from Stute Theatre’s Sophia Hatfield.

• Thursday, March 4, (1.45pm) Dominic Berry: Winner of the 2020 Saboteur Award for Best Spoken-word Artist. Glastonbury Festival’s poet-in-residence 2017.

• Friday, March 5, (1.45pm) Caryl Hart.

• Monday, March 8, (11am) Tom Palmer: Writer of many children’s books including the Football Academy series.

• Tuesday, March 9, (11am) Guy Parker Rees: Illustrator of the international best-seller ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance.’

• Wednesday, March 10 (11am) Marie Basting: Author of ‘Princess BMX.’

• Thursday, March 11, (1.45pm) Caryl Hart.

• Friday, March 12, (11am) Matt Goodfellow: Poet and ambassador for National Poetry Day.

• Friday, March 12, (1.30pm) Phil Earle: Award-winning novelist.

Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council’s executive member with responsibility for culture, said: “During lockdowns, when class visits to our libraries aren’t possible, it’s more important than ever to maintain and develop engagement with our schools.”

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