NCBF Gala Day 2016 in Middlesbrough

The Northern Children’s Book Festival (NCBF) Gala Day has become a staple of our family’s events calendar.

I love children’s books and my two have been members of our local library since they were babies.


James and Sophie with Holly Sterling and their puppets.

I am in total awe of the authors and illustrators who tell such amazing stories.

And I bet you can remember your favourites from when you were a child!

Some have already made an impression on James and Sophie, who are six and four.

We’re currently working our way through Roald Dahl’s back catalogue!

We had the chance to meet some brilliant current children’s book authors and illustrators at this year’s NCBF Gala Day.

We booked sessions with Holly Stephens, Tracey Corderoy and Faye Hanson.

Holly, who studied at Sunderland University, read her book Hiccups and then made hiccupping dog puppets with the children.

Tracey introduced her audience to Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam and after her reading of the book, there were bouncing spiders to be made and games to be played.


James and Sophie with their books signed by Tracey Corderoy.

James and Sophie loved the story so much, we bought the two follow-ups in the pop-up Blackwell’s book shop and had them signed by Tracey.

Faye, who lives in Newcastle, is someone we have met before, purely by chance, at Waterstones in Newcastle.

She signed a copy of her book, Midnight at the Zoo, for us that time, but her NCBF Gala Day session was about her previous book, The Wonder.

It’s all about a boy with a big imagination and Faye’s draw-along session encouraged participants to imagine what their version of the little boy in the story is thinking about.

Our pictures from Faye Hanson's workshop.

Our pictures from Faye Hanson’s workshop.

There was a spare sheet of paper, so I had a go too. Not sure why my little boy was thinking about cake (ahem).

The event was held in Middlesbrough this year, at mima and the central library.

Both were fantastic venues and the staff and volunteers involved in all the activities around the author and illustrator workshops were brilliant.

The Smeltery café at mima is well worth a visit too!

I’m sure we’ll be back at the NCBF Gala Day again next year, especially as a little birdy told me it’ll be closer to home in 2017!



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