November 30th, 2023

Roundup of our Autumn 2023 programme

Starting at The Bloomsbury Theatre in London with a dynamic and inspiring performance by author Ele Fountain and finishing at The Theatre Royal in Newcastle with lyrical wordsmith John Agard, The Children’s Bookshow 2023 tour of some of the best writers, poets, storytellers and illustrators from around the world has been a delight.

In our quest to bring the joy of books and reading to children across the country our artists have performed to over 7000 children in 13 theatres and run 52 creative workshops in schools. Every child who took part received a free copy of the author’s book to take home and keep - 7,145 books!

The Children's Bookshow is a highlight of our school year. So many brilliant authors, illustrators, and poets inspiring children to read, draw and create their own works of imagination. Long may your work continue! (Teacher feedback)

Theatre performances

Internationally-acclaimed storyteller, Jan Blake, delighted children at The Bristol Old Vic with her stories and riddles and it was great to witness young minds understanding the power and impact of storytelling.
A magical morning was spent at Warwick arts centre with poet Owen Sheers and illustrator Helen Stephens. 400 children and their teachers were transfixed listening to Owen read from Drew, Moo and Bunny Too, while Helen illustrated the scenes live on stage.
Another dreamy poet / illustrator combination happened at The New Wolsey in Ipswich with poet Kate Wakeling performing her poems as Latvian illustrator Elīna Brasliņa drew live. It was magical to watch the images unfurl as the words were spoken.

"It has been a crucial part of our reading for pleasure curriculum." (Teacher feedback)

Free books

Every child received a free book to take home and keep. This is a highlight for us and means that the performance has a legacy and the book can be taken home and shared with family and friends.

"They were sharing their thoughts on the book after the event and sharing what they had read. They enjoyed that they had their own copy to take home and read and it was a personal connection to the text as they had seen the author and heard her talk about the text firsthand." (Teacher feedback)

"I've had lots of reading records stating the children chose to read their new book as well as their home reader. Also had pictures from parents of their children reading their new books on the way home." (Teacher feedback)

Workshops in schools

52 artist led, creative workshops took place in schools across the country. From making joyous, brightly coloured plates of food with author-illustrator Yasmeen Ismail, to creating weird and wonderful collage characters with author-illustrator Alexis Deacon, or learning with Dutch author Anna Woltz how to create an opening paragraph to a story that draws the reader in and keeps them hooked and wanting to read more, these sessions helped children to gain confidence in working creatively.

"The books came to life; pleasure; connection; extension of curriculum" (Teacher feedback)

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