This is what happens at Bournville Bookfest – Zoe Chamberlain

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The 2018 Bournville Bookfest was bigger and better than ever!

More than 150 events have been taking place over 10 days across south and central Birmingham, offering everything from story walks, campfire tales and drawing classes to book swaps, drama workshops and science shows.

Now celebrating its fifth year as the city’s only book festival aimed at babies up to 12 year olds.

Nick Sharratt at Bournville Bookfest

We headed over there to check it out and were thrilled to watch Birmingham’s poet laureate Matt Windle poetry jamming in action.

He got all the kids in the group to write down a word on a piece of paper and hold it up then he ad-libbed an incredible urban verse finding ways to use their words in rhyme.

As a professional boxer, he then showed them some boxing moves to help them develop rhythm to their rhymes before coming up with an off-the-cuff poem about Brummie Mummies! Take a look at it here

Very cool.

Matt Windle at Bournville Bookfest

We also went to a storytelling workshop with Jake Evans, where all the kids got to shout out ideas that shaped his impromptu story.

Nowhere else could you have heard of a feathered, rhino head monster with god-like legs being destroyed by having to listen to the songs of One Direction!

It was great fun and really showed us how a couple of ideas could bring a story to life.

Jake Evans at Bournville Bookfest

The grand finale to our day was a hilarious Big Drawing challenge between five incredible illustrators who were tasked with drawing suggestions from the audience.

Famous authors and illustrators Nick Sharratt, Jess Mikhail, Gary Northfield, Emer Stamp and comedy duo Knife & Packer came up with brilliant creations of unicorns, flying cows and beat boxing squirrels in quick fire two minute rounds.

Then Matt Windle came and did some impromptu poetry about their drawings. Fab.

Nick Sharratt and friends Big Drawing Challenge at Bournville Bookfest

Other highlights of the festival included author Michael Rosen, CBeebies Mr Bloom, Tony De Saulles’s Horrible Science and Kate Pankhurst, who is a direct descendant to suffragette, Emmeline.

And, great for mums and dads, lots of the events were free or had tickets from as little as £3.50.

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Half of this year’s performers, artists and authors were from the Midlands, and there was sign language interpreter there too.

Organiser Sarah Mullen, the amazing lady behind the Busy Parents Network, has done it again by creating a thrilling festival for all ages where everyone leaves with a smile on their faces and looking forward to coming back for more.

Runs until March 25.

(Image: Benedict Reeves)

Click here to find out more about Busy Parent Network events. Be sure to look out for next year’s Bookfest.

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