Bath Festival of Children's Literature the most successful yet
Children across Bath have been inspired to lose themselves in a good book by a ten-day reading event which attracted nearly 15,000 people.
The sixth Bath Festival of Children's Literature came to an end at the weekend, bringing the curtain down on talks and workshops by some of the country's most popular children's authors.
They included Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson, Anthony Horowitz, and Really Wild Show presenter Michaela Strachan, while topics have ranged from pirates to dragons, and princesses to fairies.
Many of the events were sell-outs, packing out venues such the Forum, the central library and the Guildhall.
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Bath Festivals chief executive Belinda Kidd said it had been the most successful festival yet.
She said: "It has been absolutely brilliant. We have had 14,500 parents and children attending events in Bath.
"We have catered for children of all ages, from really tiny ones right up to teenagers.
"It has been the most successful kids' literature festival ever, which we are delighted about."
Mr Morpurgo spoke about his latest book, A Medal for Leroy, to an audience at the Forum.
People queued around the block to listen to Mr Morpurgo, who has written 127 books, including War Horse and Private Peaceful.
He said: "I love telling stories, and I love listening to and reading stories.
"It is very important to make people want to turn the page, to know what happens next.
"What great storytellers do is to paint a picture with their pens."
One young fan in the audience was Tom Hooper, 11, from Weston, who said: "War Horse is one of my favourite books, and I wanted to see Michael Morpurgo. I am excited to read his new book – I think it will be really good."
Younger children were transformed into animals with a workshop inspired by the book Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.
Participants and their parents were on the lookout for the perfect pet, at an event that saw them roaring like a lion, trumpeting like an elephant and miaowing like a kitten.
There were also events in schools, with history brought to life at the Royal High Junior School by Horrible History illustrator Martin Brown, and a series of author and illustrator visits to the Paragon School, including one by Curtis Jobling, who spoke about his work in illustration and animation to pupils from schools across the city.
Children at St Martin's Garden School at Odd Down were visited by Bristol author Elen Caldecott.
She spoke about her books, including How Kirsty Jenkins Stole The Elephant, and How Ali Ferguson Saved Houdini.