A host of remarkable characters including The Gruffalo, a space-going lamb astronaut, a vampire and witches took centre stage at a shopping centre.
Professional storytellers and authors from across the region were at Eagles Meadow in Wrexham for a non-stop all-day session of storytelling as part of the literary festival, the Carnival of Words, which is in its second year.
Sue Miller, one of the organisers of Wrexham Carnival of Words, says the storytelling was a hit with young children, teenagers and adults alike.
She said: “We have authors from North Wales and the North West of England who came along to read some of their stories as well as professional storytellers who entertained children with role play and lots of inter-active props.
“It’s been a wonderful day and great way to celebrate the written word. We have been blessed by the weather and everyone seems to have really enjoyed what has been a lovely community event.”
Wrexham author Marie Anne Cope, who has just had her book, Bonds, published says she was delighted to be able to visit Eagles Meadow and read passages from her dark vampire tale to an older audience.
She said: “My work certainly isn’t for children but rather for those 15 plus. The follow up to Bonds, which is called Broken Bonds, is due out later this year. I really enjoy writing horror and scary stories.
“Events such as the Wrexham Carnival of Words mean I’m able to introduce people to my work and gain invaluable feedback. It’s been a tremendous day.”
Liverpool award winning children’s author, Jude Lennon, was on hand to introduce a young audience to Astronaut Lamby, a character she’s created to celebrate the first women in space, Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova.
Jude, who is the current Winnie the Pooh Laureate for the North West, says she loves working as an author and telling her stories to a young audience.
She said: “I’m a former teacher but took up working as a professional children’s author and storyteller a few years ago. I was commissioned by Everton Football Club to write a story called Toffee Lady which tells the story of how the famous club’s toffee lady came to be.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed today’s event at Eagles Meadow, it’s been lovely meeting such lovely children and getting them involved with my stories.”
Also on hand to thrill children with their own stories were Yvonne Matthews, aka Vonny Bee, and Mad Mother Turtle, aka Carol Wainwright, both of Liverpool.
Vonny, a bee keeper who tells stories centred on the lives of her bees, said: “It’s been a lovely event and a chance to entertain children with some stories that involve lots of audience participation. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Mad Mother Turtle said: “It’s been an amazing day and it’s been fabulous sharing stories with some very attentive children who really enjoyed joining in. I’ve had a lovely time.”
Wrexham storyteller Jacqui Bloor, says she enjoyed introducing the Gruffalo to children at Eagles Meadow.
She said: “The Gruffalo, by Julie Donaldson, is such a magic book and it’s always a delight to share it with children.
“The idea for the Wrexham Carnival of Words is inspired and if it helps encourage children, young people and in fact, anyone to the wonder of books it has to be a great thing.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said: “I was delighted to welcome all the storytellers along to Eagles Meadow for the Carnival of Words event.
“Everyone enjoyed their performances on what has been a lovely sunny day in Wrexham.
“It’s important for us that Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre is central to a whole range of community events within Wrexham.
“I believe the Carnival of Words is an important and worthwhile festival that will, I hope, go from strength to strength.”
To find out more about Wrexham Carnival of Words please visit www.literaryfestivals.co.uk