During our first year we offered a programme of ’52 Things’ made with and for the city’s creative community to showcase the fantastic people and places in our city. You can find the full 52 here.

This weekend we visited the Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival. Now in its fourth year, the festival is expanding, taking place over two weekends allowing for greater participation and a fuller programme.

With 50 events on offer there is a great deal to chose from for children and adults alike. The programme includes English and Welsh speaking authors and illustrators and events are presented in venues across the city including City Hall , Cardiff Central Library, Cardiff Castle and the Reardon Smith Theatre at the National Museum Cardiff.

The events are varied and include talks by brand new authors and illustrators as well as old favorites for children and young people. There are also some events for adults too.  As this year’s festival coincides with the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth, one of the most famous children’s writers of all time, celebrations also include a host of themed events to celebrate Dahl and his work.

I attended a session with my 4-year-old daughter featuring writer Sean Taylor. He was talking about his book ‘Hoot Owl - Master of Disguise’ a funny adventure for 3-6 year olds about a hungry owl who likes to dress up and disguise himself in order to attempt to catch his dinner. Sean’s facilitation was a real joy for the children and parents attending. He is highly skilled at engaging with children and managed the delicate balance between education, information, creative play and fun that kept everyone entertained for the hour-long event. In particular he managed to involve all of the children who attended the session be it through story, song, poetry writing or question and answer sessions. This ensured that everyone had a chance to get involved and share in the experience.

The festival won a Cardiff Life Award this year where it was described as “a great inclusive event supporting our children to develop literacy and interest in reading – highly successful, truly inspirational”. This is all due to the hard work and effort by the partners who work together to enable the festival to take place: the City of Cardiff Council, Literature Wales, Cardiff University and National Museum Wales.

Few other cities can boast a literature festival focused purely on its children and young people. In a world where there is constant debate about literacy capabilities, the decline in children reading books and the rise in the use of technological gadgets the festival seems more important than ever. And as much as raising literacy levels are important so is having fun and engaging in creative play and imagination. This festival offers all sorts of opportunities to do just that.

The Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival runs from 16-24 April.

 

Share