The latest from LadybirdMum and the chance to win one of three copies of Peppa Pig: Peppa’s Post!
‘The ethos of the festival is simple: to entertain children, and to enthuse them about reading. We aim to create a friendly, family atmosphere in which young book fans can come along to Festival events and meet their favourite authors and book characters.’
The Bath Festival of Children’s Literature is a celebration of books for toddlers to teens, and recently we travelled to Bath so Zach could see one of his most beloved characters, Peppa Pig. Ladybird booked us in to the Saturday afternoon storytelling session at the Mission Theatre, where Zach could then enjoy a meet and greet with Peppa herself afterwards.
A professional storyteller led the interactive session, reading The Big Tale of Little Peppa and inviting the children to share in the story and encouraging them to shout out ideas. Somebody asked ‘Why has Daddy Pig got such a big tummy?’ which was met with ‘Because he ate a giant Malteser!’ by one little boy; this seemed an excellent answer to me.
Watching the proceedings as both a parent and someone who adores books and reading, it was interesting to see how the children in the audience engaged with the story. Their excitement was palpable; when they were invited to jump up and down in imaginary puddles, they did it with such gusto, the noise levels went through the roof. And when it was time for Peppa to arrive, it was wonderful to see the expression of pure joy on Zach’s face.
The reactions of the children varied from being overexcited to overwhelmed, which isn’t surprising really. These kids love the Peppa Pig books and programmes, and suddenly out of nowhere, there she was. I guess they were all a little star struck, which I hadn’t anticipated beforehand. I’d assumed Zach would want to charge up to Peppa and fling his arms around her. But whilst this would be my reaction if I suddenly found myself face-to-face with George Clooney, Zach was quite shy when it came to saying hello to his children’s books star.
He soon overcame his shyness, when the lovely Sarah from the Ladybird team invited him to choose a Peppa book from the Waterstones table, which he excitedly looked at from cover to cover all the way back through the town.
All around Bath were banners promoting the event, and the experience left me thinking how brilliant it is to devote an entire festival to children’s books. It also left me thinking about beloved authors and characters from when I was growing up, and imagining a festival where Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton, Judy Blume, Nancy Drew, Francine Pascal, Ann M. Martin, R.L. Stine and Stephen King (to name just a few), might all be found, bringing their books to life and meeting young fans. The very idea of it leaves me wide-eyed and wistful.
It also makes me smile to think about when we can share the magic of authors like Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton with Zach, and see him enjoying the same reading adventures we did as kids. Timeless children’s books will continue to bring excitement and wonder for generations to come, and that’s certainly something worth celebrating.
Win a copy of Peppa’s Post!