Grunts, Gruffalos and a whacky witch

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Julia Donaldson and Tony Ross will be at Children's Day at the Stratford Literary Festival next month.

THE final day of this year’s Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival is given over entirely to children, who will have the opportunity to meet some of the country’s best-known authors, get stuck into workshops, and try their hand at some storytelling and drama of their own.

Headlining Sunday, 1st May’s Children’s Day will be the multi-award-winning creator of such well-loved stories including The Gruffalo and Zog, Julia Donaldson, who will be performing her favourite stories and songs alongside her five-strong cast, which includes her guitar-playing husband, Malcolm.

Other top children’s authors include the renowned illustrator Korky Paul, most famous for illustrating Winnie the Witch, and Tony Ross, veteran illustrator of the Horrid Henry and Little Princess stories.

Throughout the day, children also will have the chance to take part in a Playbox Theatre workshop, listen to a special storytelling of Jill Murphy’s Five Minutes’ Peace, and even make their own pop-up books with the help of the book-making expert, David Hawcock.

The author Pip Jones will be delighting children with her Squishy McFluff and Daddy’s Sandwich stories, and new author Daisy Hirst will be making craft in her session on The Girl With The Parrot On Her Head. Kids can also get stuck in with Escape Arts in a creative making session.

The packed programme has been put together with the help of this year’s guest director, Philip Ardagh, the award-winning creator of The Grunts and the Eddie Dickens trilogy, who will also be making audiences laugh with an event on the latest in his Grunts’ series, illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

“We are so excited by the Children’s Day line-up,” says Festival Director, Annie Ashworth.

“Children will be spoilt for choice — what a great way it will be to enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend and to round off the festival!”

Each event is priced at £5 for children (adults £3), but a Day Ticket at £15 gives entry to all events (adult day ticket £10).

Julia Donaldson’s event is priced separately, at £10 for children and adults.

Throughout The Children’s Day, which starts at 10am, the Baillie Gifford Festival Café will be open, with hot and cold drinks, cakes, scones and light refreshments provided by HR Café.

There will also be a pop-up Waterstones bookshop.