Former CBeebies presenter and children’s writer, Cerrie Burnell, has been confirmed as one of the headliners in an impressive line-up of authors, illustrators, storytellers, poets and puppeteers at this year’s IW Story Festival, which will be free online this half term from Wednesday 17 to Saturday 20 February.
Cerrie will be talking live about her book I Am Not A Label ¬– an illustrated anthology of stories aimed at older children, exploring the lives of 34 disabled artists, thinkers, athletes and activists from past and present.
The festival will open on February 17 with a live session by its patron, Nicholas Allan, author and illustrator of numerous bestselling picture books, including The Queen’s Knickers. His session will not only include reading and illustration from his book, Picasso’s Trousers, but magic illusion and chocolate!
Other authors featuring in a line-up to suit children of all ages include: ‘Alex Sparrow’ creator, Jennifer Killick; the multi-award-winning author and illustrator Neal Layton; inspirational author Roopa Farooki; football-fan and former reluctant reader, Tom Palmer, and the Isle of Wight’s own award-winning children’s author, Kieran Larwood.
Event organizer Peta Rainford, also an author and illustrator, said: “Although we aren’t able to run a physical festival this year, we are determined to give families a proper festival experience during February half term
“We’re aware that everyone’s had a tough year, so we’re pleased that we’re able to offer all sessions free this year. And the fact that the event is online will mean many more people will be able to see the wonderful authors and performers we’ve got lined up.”
Another highlight will be the return of Emergency Turtle, who charmed audiences last year with their unique blend of storytelling and puppetry. They will be doing two live sessions – a magical new show, followed by a shadow puppet workshop where you can learn to create your own shadow puppets.
Although the festival will be online this year, the organizers are determined it will still be a distinctively Isle of Wight festival, with sessions from many Island-based children’s writers, illustrators, storytellers and poets, including Sue Bailey, Adam Gatterell, Jules Marriner, Holly Medland Lees, Peta Rainford, Kathryn Rossati, Zoe Sadler and Debbie Webb.
For more information, go to iwstoryfestival.com.