By Margie Skinner
We stepped outside up the M40 on Sunday, to the Banbury Literary Live festival at the North Oxfordshire Academy. The Academy both hosts and organises this event, now in its second year, which is a valuable way to bring together the threads of community, school and literacy. We were thrilled to be part of such an innovative and admirable ideal.
With our unmissable new banner and lots of activities we descended on the library. Our London Skyscraper quiz was a big hit and we had loads of entries for our ‘Design a Skyscraper ‘ competition. The ideas from the kids were, as always, refreshingly free from any restraints that an adult might bring to the task, with some awesome and amusing results!
We also had a table of Lego and encouraged visitors to build a skyscraper too, which we knew our younger visitors would love. But I overheard a fair few adults insisting that the family stayed longer, so that they, the adults, could finish their creations! I think that is what they call ‘releasing your inner child’.
Our talented illustrator Sam was able to join us on Sunday, and sat quietly weaving his magic on paper and screen, much to the interest of many of the children. I heard one little girl tell him ‘you are really good at drawing!’ a sentiment with which we whole-heartedly agree!
It is always interesting to meet the other exhibitors and we chatted to a really nice chap called Neil Giggins who has produced a very accessible series of Shakespeare plays, with unedited text but presented in a social media type way, with quirky illustrations. Perfect for tweenies and teens. We recommend you have a look. www.kiwipublications.co.uk
Franny and I punctuated the day with some short presentations introducing the Step Outside animal guides and their books. It is easy to let our charming creatures champion each of our fabulous books – and no I don’t mean myself and Franny!