More than 30 shops in Sadler Gate are taking part in the Waterstones Children’s Book Trail, which is part of the first Derby Book Festival.. The Trail begins on Saturday 24 May and runs throughout half term and the following week until Sunday 7 June, when Derby Book Festival ends. Children are invited to spot the children’s book characters featured in each shop window, identify the book they are from and complete a quiz sheet which should then be returned to Waterstones. All returned sheets will be entered into a prize draw for book tokens.
The Book Trail is only one of several free activities and events for children and families in the Festival.
On Saturday 6 June a special Bringing Books to Life event will be held in the Market Place from 10am to 4pm with a number of coloured marquees housing a range of activities including storytelling with local storyteller Sophie Snell, the Bookstart Bear, a Book Doctor giving reading prescriptions, a Human Library with ‘living’ books, poetry readings from Candlestick Press, the Book Bus project which promotes literacy in Africa, Derby Shakespeare performing sonnets and there will be a chance to meet Shakespeare and his librarian Miranda from 1623 theatre company where you can pick up a script, try on a costume, perform a snippet and take a selfie with your favourite play.
On Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 June the Silk Mill will run ‘Make It’ sessions where you can have a go at producing illuminated letters, illustrations, traditional letterpress, bookbinding, laser cut book designs and story sacks.
Local author Gersh Subhra will be reading from his children’s book Billu leaves India on Saturday 6 June in The Open Centre’s Gallery 5 in the Guildhall Market at 1pm and 3.30pm.
Pre-school children won’t miss out on the activities. Derby Museum’s popular ‘Make and Do sessions’ for tots will feature David Sudbury’s picture book King of Rome in their new Nature Gallery on Friday 5 June.
There will also be free Charlie and the Chocolate Factory storytelling sessions every hour in intu Derby on Saturday 6 June from 10am to 4pm.
For something completely different, families are invited to drop into the free Derby on Board Games event in the BookCafe in Irongate, Cathedral Quarter from 4 – 10pm on Wednesday 3 June which will feature lots of book related board games and lots of people to play games with.
Festival partners, Déda and Derby Theatre are both presenting book- related theatre productions. At Déda, Blunderbus Theatre will have two performances based on the popular children’s books by Jez Alborough, Duck in the Truck on Saturday 6 June. Derby Theatre will present two performances of a new show Bookstory in their Studio Theatre on Sunday 7 June. Tickets are available from Déda and Derby Theatre.
Liz Fothergill, the Festival Chair said: “The Festival’s children and family activities are an important part of our programme and the Waterstones Children’s Book Trail is a great way to engage children with the books they love. It is vital that we encourage a passion for books and reading from an early age by making them fun.”