Salisbury Plain Children's Book Club Launch with Kristina Stephenson, Martin Brown and Charlotte Lo

On Saturday 21st September The Salisbury Plain Children's Book Group held it's official launch event at Netheravon All Saints Primary School. The group, which is part of the charity the Federation of Children's Book Groups, had a superb line up of illustrators and authors for a jam packed day of entertainment. The day attracted families from a wide area of the plain with children from at least 7 local schools in attendance.

The day kicked off with local picture book author and illustrator, Kristina Stephenson who held her audience, young and old, captivated for the entire morning. She treated the group to a fantastic show based on her book ‘Why are there so many books about bears?’. With props, puppets and dressing up, Kristina knows exactly how to bring her story to life. There was lots of audience participation with children playing the main characters of the story. Children were rewarded with cakes, balloons and special certificates from the author.

After an official launch by group chair, Sara Sumner, the afternoon session kicked off with Martin Brown, illustrator of the popular Horrible Histories series. Martin gave the children lots of advice and tips on drawing and learning how to try different things out. It was really inspiring seeing how he worked and hearing how he became an illustrator. He also treated everyone to some insight of his own incredible ‘Lesser Spotted Animals’ series.

Rounding off the event was debut Children's novelist, Charlotte Lo, who spoke to the group about her novel ‘We won an Island'. She gave everyone an insight into what it is like to be a writer of Children's fiction, what gives her inspiration and her road to publication. There were lots of fantastic questions asked by children and adults alike!

The group were thrilled with the turn out at the event and all of the incredible feedback from members and attendees, as well as the authors.

Kristina Stephenson provided this feedback to the group:
‘It was a great day and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of it.
I think you and your team are amazing and should be applauded by the whole publishing industry. It’s grass roots enterprises like yours that will have a lasting impact on children’s reading habits. You should be very proud of yourselves'.

A big thanks from the group to everyone who helped out in many different ways but especially the Book Group Committee, Netheravon All Saints Primary School and Sarah and Alan Brown from the Cheerful Cuppa who provided refreshments throughout the day. The group are busy planning their next event for ‘Non Fiction November' and would love to hear from anyone wishing to become a member. Please contact membership.spcbg@gmail.com for details on how to get involved!

Kathryn Blanchard