Cheltenham is an old stomping ground of mine and I remember hanging out there when I was an art student before I headed off to Uni. It is a beautiful Regency Spa town with lovely gardens and brilliant shopping, but on this visit instead of loafing about with a portfolio, drinking beer in Imperial Gardens, we went on a family trip to the famous Literary Festival. I had managed to get tickets for two events: the first one in the morning, to see Cressida Cowell and hear about her newest book – How to beat a Dragon’s Fury.
So Biggest and I took our seats in the Sunday Times Garden Theatre, and spent an hour with Cressida Cowell learning about what inspired her to become a writer and stories about the dragon series. She took some questions and kept the children laughing and entertained. Then Biggest and Dad queued up to have his book signed.
After lunch, it was Littlest’s turn as we went off to Draw with Lydia Monks!
We took our seats in an auditorium at Cheltenham Ladies College and Lydia Monks came on stage to talk about her books as well as her collaborations with Julia Donaldson. She then began to draw – which was beamed out on a large screen and the children could draw along!
Littlest had paper, pencil and a clipboard and happily drew along with Lydia. There was plenty of audience participation and even heckling from preschoolers but Lydia entertained us all with aplomb and we queued up for a signing afterwards too.
Sunday 11th October; there was a number of free events for children, as well as the Waterstones hideaway tent, face painting and much more! If your children want to see and meet a favourite author or illustrator then Cheltenham Literary Festival is well worth investigating.