Mark your diaries, it is now official: the next Linton Children’s Book Festival will be held the week end of May 10th-11th 2014 !!!
We are delighted to have found a new administrator to run the 2014 event. Please get in touch via the website if you would like to be involved in any way. This community event needs fundraisers, volunteers, authors and illustrators.
We look forward to hearing from you.
The Linton Children’s Book Festival is looking to recruit a new administrator for the event in 2014. If you would like further details of this exciting opportunity please get in touch and we will be delighted to send you a job description.
The fourth Linton Book Festival took place over 7 days in May 2012.
Proceedings got off to an explosive start on Sunday 6th May on Camping Close in the centre of the village. Thanks to Gill Lee’s unflagging efforts and invaluable contacts, royalist soldiers from Sir William Pennyman’s regiment, led by Matthew Ward of Horrible Histories renown, re-enacted the Linton Rebellion of 1648 by firing several impressive volleys from their cannons and muskets. After a special service in St. Mary’s Church, led by Linton’s local parish priest, the Rev Dr Steve Griffiths (who coincidentally did his theology thesis on this period of the Anglican service), a large crowd enjoyed the opportunity to find out more about the English Civil War and the stirring events that shaped our village’s history. See photos of the day here (by kind permission of Ron Ragsdale).
The following week saw a succession of events for younger children in local libraries and playgroups, including a special storytelling session by author and illustrator Rebecca Merry in the Spotted Giraffe Play Barn. The rain just about held off for our popular garden storytimes which were kindly hosted by the Linton Gardening Society. There was also a Potion Trail around the village to find the ingredients to a Festival wizard’s brew, as well as specially labelled Book Crossing books hidden around the village for lucky children to find, read and pass on.
Authors Ian Whybrow and Cliff McNish visited the three mainstream village schools to much acclaim and storyteller Marion Leaper entertained children at the Granta School.
Our two bookfest competitions were keenly contested. At the Infants School, the children were each given a bucket (courtesy of Ridgeons) and asked to fill it with a story. We could not have imagined the huge range of colourfully decorated buckets that were returned to the school, each with a proud owner, eager to tell their special tale.
Older children were asked to come up with a new invention that would change the world – and again the range of ideas was breathtaking. Thanks to the generous support of Conrad Webb, entries in this competition were displayed at the Windmill Art Gallery in Long Lane at the start of the Festival.
As the weekend of the 12th/13th May approached, the sun came out and the Bookfest team began the exciting task of transforming Linton Village College into a vibrant Festival venue.
Saturday’s events kicked off with Kumiko Mendl, a Japanese storyteller who had performed at our 2010 Festival, back due to popular demand. Kumiko bewitched young and old alike with her magical tales of the Orient, and then spent the rest of the day demonstrating origami in the Library.
Next up in the Main Hall, the main draw in our “Book Lab” non-fiction and science theme, the author of the Horrible Science series, Nick Arnold, delighted his young audience with a whistle-stop tour of the scientific universe - and the more smelly and slimey it got, the better!
Parallel to these events, Pauline Francis shared her experience of writing historical novels with older children, Catherine Condie gave some insights into self-publishing, and fantasy artist John McCambridge led an intriguing illustration workshop entitled “How to Draw Your Dragon”.
In the afternoon, new author Anthony Irvin spoke about his fascinating experiences as a vet in Africa and Paula Metcalf led a fun-filled session for pre-school children based around her self-illustrated “Norma Snows” books about an unusual anteater. The day was brought to a close with a high-energy performance by Tommy Donbavand, author of the Scream Street series, which sent most of the audience home desperate to start reading his scary tales of zombies and werewolves.
Saturday’s talks and workshops were accompanied by some excellent hands-on science activities presented by the Cambridge Science Centre which proved hugely popular. Outside in the Memorial Gardens, Paul Jackson told a series of enchanting tales in his striking Yurt and a group of very talented local musicians entertained young and old alike with their delightful interpretations of well-loved fairy-tales. Book-binder Barry Brignell and new authors Susie Keen, Steve Humphreys and Maggie Brown also provided drop-in activities, and youngsters were delighted by the roaming presence of a larger-than-life Mog the Forgetful Cat, who was happy to pose for photographs.
Sunday dawned even brighter and we were quickly off the mark with an ear-splitting Samba Drumming Workshop, led by Cambridge’s very own Samba Band “Arco Iris” and presented in association with the Cambridge Summer Music Festival. The lucky participants were able to try all the different percussion instruments and confidently performed an impromtu concert on the lawn outside at the end of the session.
Louie Stowell from Usborne Books gave two very well-received story-writing workshops to rooms full of budding authors, whilst acclaimed illustrator Lynne Chapman passed on priceless tips to some grateful young artists.
Author Helen Moss proved a popular draw for boys and girls alike with her tales of Dinosaur Discovery. And Festival favourite, Tony Mitton, pleased his many fans with poems and raps.
As lunchtime loomed, thanks to the sponsorshp of Dalehead Foods, we were treated to a truly anarchic cooking demonstration by radio personality Nick Coffer and his four year-old son Archie in the main hall. Fortunately there were plenty of tasty samples for his hungry audience and we all came away inspired to try something different in the kitchen in the future! An unannounced extra session in the domestic science kitchen after lunch had eager Dads with kids in tow, whipping up tasty chocoloate mousse under Nick’s guidance.
The delightful author and illustrator Rebecca Patterson cast her spell over some very excited pre-schoolers and Colin Fleetwood answered the perennial question of “Why is it so?” with an entertaining and informative talk on gravity, air resistance and popping balloons, aimed at primary school children.
In the early afternoon, the author of the best-selling Spy Dog series, Andy Cope, gave a barnstorming performance to a packed Main Hall – and amongst the constant laughs managed to deliver a truly inspirational message about the joy of reading to children and parents alike.
Throughout the day, LVC Science teacher and You Tube star, Stewart Bell, was an intriguing presence in one of the common rooms, conducting a series of increasingly bizarre scientific experiments with everyday kitchen utensils and ingredients. Oxford Archaeology also returned with their fascinating display of bones and other artefacts that were dug up when the college embarked upon its recent building programme. Sarah Banks calmed down children in the library making needlework bookmarks.
The Festival culminated in two very special events. Firstly we were privileged to hear the premiere of a musical rendition of ”Babar the Elephant” by local composer Nigel Bennett, inspired by the much-loved storybook. Nigel not only composed and conducted the piece, he also assembled a group of very talented brass and woodwind players to perform it.
And the final talk of the Festival was the most highly anticipated. Jeremy Strong, author of “My Brother’s Famous Bottom” and winner of numerous children’s book awards, gave us a hilarious account of his ascent to fame and fortune. He had the sell-out audience rolling in the aisles with his combination of silly gags and outrageous stories. Lucky prizewinners were called up at the end to get signed copies of his books. In fact, all the authors and illustrators throughout the weekend were more than happy to sign copies of their books, which could be purchased on site, compliments of the Norfolk Children’s Book Centre.
Thanks to the funding received from Linton Parish Council, The Anderson Trust, Start Arts, South Cambridgeshire District Council, The Pye Foundation, Young Lives, Kumon English and Maths, Cambridge University Press, Ridgeons, Linton Tandoori, Genzyme, Granta Park, Neusentis Pfizer, Population Genetics, TWI, Medimmune, Saffron Walden Waitrose and Dalehead Foods – as well as countless individual donations from families and supporters, we have been entertained and inspired by some truly talented artists over the past week. And, a very special thanks to Josephine Paterson, the Festival Co-ordinator, who inspired a team of nearly 40 volunteers of all ages, from every corner of the village, for the past year leading up to these events. Let’s hope she still has some enthusiasm to take up the challenge again in 2014!
The following quote from the mother of one of our competition winners sums up what our event is all about:
“My 9-year-old so-called ‘reluctant reader’ is sitting on the sofa completely absorbed in a brilliant Tommy Donbavand book. Every so often he looks up and says ‘I just can’t believe I won!’ I think this may have been one of the best days of his life – thank you to the Linton Children’s Book Festival! “
Now, back to that “well, almost” in the header: Tom Palmer is still set to visit the Aztecs Junior Football Club on Saturday 19th May for his popular Football Reading game. So if you missed out on the main festival, here’s your chance for a final event before the whistle blows!
Quote from our facebook page “My 9-year-old so-called ‘reluctant reader’ is sitting on the sofa completely absorbed in a brilliant Tommy Donbavand book.
Every so often he looks up and says ‘I just can’t believe I won!’ I think this may have been one of the best days of his life – thank you to the Linton Children’s Book Festival”
…………..And there is another fabulous day planned for tomorrow!
See you there?
Please do not send any more bookings by post or email.
There is still good availability for the events indicated on the website – just come along on the day and book in at reception. Take the time to explore all the drop in stuff as there is lots to do.
*Latest news* Radio presenter and TV cook, Nick Coffer will be helping with a “Dad’s in the kitchen – chocolate mousse making extravaganza” after his session on Sunday 13th May. There is still lots of space available to join him and 4 year old Archie for a fun and easy cookery demo at 12.45 and then drop in chocolate mousse making in the domestic science room later”!
Despite the weather all garden storytimes for the little ones have gone ahead this week. The sun even came out for a few hours at The Guildhall!
The children made caterpillar / butterflies on Tuesday and robin bookmarks on Wednesday. Last chance today (Thursday) when we will be at “Richmonds” on the corner of the High Street and Symmonds Lane. Come to hear the story of the Snail and the Whale read by Angela Stansall, and explore another one of Linton’s beautiful gardens. Drinks and snacks are provided and the story starts at 3.45.
In Linton tomorrow (Tues 8th May) , we start the Lintonbookfest day with storytime at the Spotted Giraffe where Rebecca Merry will be bringing her paper theatre and telling the story of “The Golden Apple”. Still places available for the 10.30am session – just tell Cathy or Michelle that you have come for the book festival storytime and get FREE entry to the playbarn. (Though there are limited places so be there early!)
Next enjoy a special library storytime at Linton Library, Cathodeon Centre 14.00 – 14.30. Pick up your book festival sticker and bookmark and enjoy stories in our well loved library.
Finally, (weather permitting), all children are welcome to come after school to “The Guildhall” (the grand house next to St Mary’s Church) to hear stories of Ravenous Rabbits and Crunching Caterpillars. Stories start at 15.45 and refreshments will be provided. We know you would all like to have a peep at the Guildhall garden anyway – and our hosts are making you more than welcome! Accompanying adults must be responsible for children in the garden setting.
Hope to see you there!
In the summer of 1648, England was at war and Colchester lay under siege.
The people of Cambridgeshire rose in rebellion to save the hard-pressed City. They mustered in Linton, not knowing that the war would soon come to them.
Join The Linton Rebellion and experience for yourself the roar of gunfire and the smoke of the campfire.
The event has been organised by The English Civil War Society and Sir William Pennyman’s Regiment 1643.net. Take this chance to travel back in time to 1648, as you are unlikely to see anything like this in Linton again!
The day commences with a Civil War church service at St. Mary’s at 10am. The action then moves to Camping Close (behind the Infants School) where a host of activities run from 11.00am to 4.00pm. Light refreshments will be available. There is free entry to the field but a small donation of £5 per family would be appreciated to help us cover costs – look out for book festival volunteers with donation buckets.
If you’re coming from outside the village, the best place to park is Linton Village College which is accessed from the A1307 and is a 5 minute walk away. We suggest that you leave your pets at home because the sound of the muskets and cannon can be quite loud!