Nearly 40 shops in Sadler Gate and the Strand Arcade are taking part in this year’s Children’s Book Trail at Derby Book Festival. The Trail runs for two weeks and will be launched on Friday 27 May at 11.00am when over 50 pupils from Borrow Wood Primary School will be the first to try it out.
The Book Trail was one of the most popular children’s activities in last year’s Festival. Children can pick up a Book Trail quiz sheet from participating shops (displaying a window card). These list well-known children’s book characters and children are invited to hunt down the shop where the character is hiding. They can drop the completed sheets into the letter box in White Stuff at 44 Sadler Gate for the chance of winning one of the special prizes in the Book Trail Prize Draw.
The Trail, which is sponsored by local philanthropist Deborah Fern, runs throughout half term and the week of the Festival, ending on Sunday 12 June. It is one of several free activities and events for children and families at this year’s Festival.
Other free children’s activities include a special Bringing Books to Life event, which will be held on Saturday 4 June in the Market Place from 10am to 4pm. Children are invited to come along dressed as their favourite book character and there will be a fancy dress judging after the theatre shows throughout the day.
The Market Place will be filled with marquees and a Yurt housing a range of activities including: storytelling, shows with Oddsocks and Quite Remarkable theatre companies, Willy Wonka, pavement art, mural painting and collage, cartoon drawing, display of Big Books by local schools, a children’s Book Swap stall, charity book stalls, the Book Bus project and Derby City Library Service’s Summer Reading Challenge.
Trent Barton have loaned the Festival a bus and Derby Shakespeare Company will be performing Bard on the Bus throughout the day. Children and families can also buy refreshments at the BFG’s pop up café, courtesy of Jack Rabbits.
On Saturday 4 June Derby Museums will run ‘Make It’ sessions where children can have a go at a range of drawing and craft activities, including illuminated letters, illustrations and traditional letterpress. Intu Derby will also hold free storytelling sessions featuring The Gruffalo every half hour from 11am to 4pm.
On Saturday 11 June, children’s author Chloe Inkpen will be in Mickleover Library for a free event with activities at 10.30am.
Local author Andy Cope will have two shows in QUAD: at 11.30am with his Spydog, Lara and at 1.45pm on the Art of Being a Brilliant Teenager. QUAD will also host illustration workshops for children and teenagers at 11.30am and 3pm. Tickets for Andy Cope and the Workshops are available online at www.derbybookfestival.co.uk or from the Festival Box Office at QUAD.
Derby Museum’s popular free event ‘Family Friday’ will feature Shadows and Shapes exploring the book Augustus and His Smile in the Nature Gallery on Friday 3 June. The following Friday the Tots Make and Do session will feature Constellations Above to coincide with astronaut Tim Peake’s return to earth.
Face Up Theatre will be premiering their new show Augustus and His Smile on Sunday 5 June at 12.30pm and 2.30 pm. Tickets cost £5 and are available online or from QUAD. Déda and Derby Theatre will also have children’s theatre shows on during the Festival: The Doodle Dance Show at Déda on Friday 3 June at 11.30am and 2.30pm, tickets £7 from Déda and The Adventures of Walter Lemonface at the Studio in Derby Theatre on Saturday 11 June at 11am and 2pm, tickets £10 and £7 from Derby Theatre.
For something completely different, families are invited to drop into the free Derby on Board Games event in the BookCafé in Irongate, Cathedral Quarter from 4 – 10pm on Wednesday 8 June which will feature lots of book related board games and lots of people to play games with.