New reading festival brings top illustrator to Bethnal Green school

Karin Littlewood, picture book illustrator, talking to children at Columbia Primary School in Bethna

Karin Littlewood, picture book illustrator, talking to children at Columbia Primary School in Bethnal Green. - Credit: Archant

Pupils from Bethnal Green got the chance to work with a top children’s illustrator as part of a free reading festival.

Karin Littlewood, who has drawn artwork for picture books such as ‘I Say a Little Prayer for You’ by Burt Bacharach and ‘Billy’s Sunflower’ by Nicola Moon, visited youngsters at Columbia Primary School in Columbia Road.

The workshop was designed in partnership with Townhall Tales, a new, free reading festival coming to Shoreditch Town Hall in Hackney on Saturday from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

The one-off event has teamed up with east London writers such as Michael Rosen, David Lucas, Benjamin Zephaniah, and Sarwat Chadda to get them into schools to share the pleasure of reading.

There will also be a host of musicians, artists, and storytellers bringing literature to life including Mrs H and the Sing-Along Band, Gina Southgate and Rez Kabir, whose performance will feature Bollywood dancing and the chance to sign up to local libraries,

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The festival was thought up by Joanna de Guia, owner of Victoria Park Bookshop, and Penny Wrout, from not-for-profit organisation LandSky.

Joanna said: “It is part of the school curriculum for teachers to encourage reading for pleasure but it’s often hard for them to find ways to inspire the children.

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“We wanted to help and at the same time encourage authors to build a relationship with local schools.”

Townhall Tales has been supported by a grant from Arts Council England and the Foyle Foundation, with sponsorship from Hachette and Liberty Group.

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