Hitchin Children’s Book Festival is a hit with all ages again

PUBLISHED: 14:48 11 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:48 11 September 2018

James Mayhew, Martin Impey and Harriet Muncaster wth the Hitchin Children's Book Festival team at the British Schools Museum, off Queen Street. Picture: HCBF

James Mayhew, Martin Impey and Harriet Muncaster wth the Hitchin Children's Book Festival team at the British Schools Museum, off Queen Street. Picture: HCBF

Archant

The second annual Hitchin Children’s Book Festival took place over the weekend – with kids of all ages enthralled as authors and illustrators brought their stories to life in person.

Letchworth's James Mayhew leads reading in the British Schools Museum's Lancasterian schoolroom during the Hitchin Children's Book Festival. Picture: HCBFLetchworth's James Mayhew leads reading in the British Schools Museum's Lancasterian schoolroom during the Hitchin Children's Book Festival. Picture: HCBF

Saturday’s sold-out festival at the British Schools Museum, off Queen Street, boasted North Herts authors James Mayhew and Harriet Muncaster – who were this year joined by Baldock illustrator Martin Impey.

James is known for his Katie and Ella Bella books, among others, while Harriet’s Isadora Moon series has gone down a storm with young readers.

Martin’s books include several themed around the First World War centenary – the latest being Peace Lily, which is about a nurse, and celebrates the contributions of women to the war effort.

The chief festival organiser was Hitchin author Danny Pearson, who is himself known for his work writing comic strips for the Beano.

He told the Comet: “What an event! Last year’s event was amazing, but this year’s was on another level.

“It was fantastic to see how much the kids, and adults, enjoyed it. We were all treated to Martin’s engrossing talk, Harriet’s bat-catching skills and James’s mesmerizing ability to tell amazing stories while painting upside down.

“I hope it all inspired people. I was overwhelmed by all the positive messages I received before, during and after the event.”

Danny said they were able to double the capacity this year, with smiles all round as the talks were followed by author questions and answers – as well as face-painting and book signings.

Harriet said: “The Hitchin Children’s Book Festival was an absolutely brilliant success! Bigger and better than last year. Hopefully there will be many more in the future.

“It was great to see my old tutor, James Mayhew, and finally get to see one of his live drawing events – and also meet Martin Impey. A great day. Hitchin really is a perfect place for a kids-lit fest.”

The festival team sent thanks to James, Martin and Harriet for their help – as well as the British Schools Museum team, Catherine Hemming from Hitchin Waterstones, and festival logo designer Dan ‘Scribbler’ Bramall.

To find out more about events at the British Schools Museum, see britishschoolsmuseum.co.uk.

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