Sunday 27 April 2008

The Brighton Children's Book Festival

It was my birthday last Saturday and to celebrate I took a group of little girls to the Brighton Children's Book Festival. I was on a panel (about promoting yourself online) the following day.

Snowy Globe, their school's cuddly toy mascot, came along. Our task was to bring back photographs Snowy Globe enjoying Brighton and the festival. Here is Snowy Globe and my festival companions getting ready to board the train to Brighton:

Snowy Globe was suitably impressed by the sights at Brighton:

Brighton was relentlessly cool.

At Brighton University we slavered over the book display.

The theme of this year's festival is 'Leaping from the Page' - books finding other incarnations in comics, film, stage, you get the idea.

The kids went straight into a musical performance workshop using material from Feather Boy by Nicky Singer. The workshop was run by Nicholas Beeby and Kate Bray. While they were in the workshop, I attended a comics workshop run by Marcia Williams:

The kids then performed a scene from Feather Boy - incredibly well given that they only had two hours to learn the songs and workshop the scene! It was mind-boggling. I won't be surprised if Grace (the girl in the foreground) who sang the lead ends up on the West End someday!

After the performance, Laura Atkins who organised the festival, very charmingly interviewed Dakota Blue Richards, the young star of the film of The Golden Compass and a Brighton local. My girls were gripped by this personable (not to mention exceedingly beautiful) and well-spoken young person.

Of course, Snowy Globe paid close attention to all that was said.

And Dakota Blue kindly had her picture taken with girls and dog.

As did David Almond when it came time for him to speak about the turning of his books into films.

David A gave an inspirational talk about writing and adapting work for other media. Then the BBC adaptation of Clay was screened (the girls were a bit scared).

We then rushed off to Zizzi in the Lanes for a birthday supper and then to the beach and the Brighton Pier to milk the most out of the rest of the evening before we left. Unfortunately the funfair was already closed. But that did not stop my intrepid gang.

Sadly, because I was speaking the next day (and because the events were geared for an older audience), I didn't take the kids with me. As a result, I took no pictures. Sorry.

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