Felixstowe Book Festival – Children’s Events

There was plenty of choice for kids this year with many events being free of charge and no need to get a ticket. This is great for parents with young kids who have no idea how their kids will be feeling on the day or even awake at the scheduled time. My biggest challenge was how to fit in activities for my children when there were so many events I wanted to go to for me!

Story Walk in the Woods

The first event we attended was at the Grove, out local woodlands.  The event was run by Elly Crichton Stuart who led the children (or get them to lead us) through the forest and hunt out spots for story telling.  During our walk she shared a total of ten stories.  She was animated in her story telling which appealed to the children and often got them involved.

Sitting on a log, the first story she shared was the Grufflao that she recalled from memory.  The children were all familiar with this one.  Later, sitting by a large oak tree, she shared a Scottish tale about a White Stag and  a girls trip to fairyland.  Next, the children sat on a tree stump whilst she shared with them a fable about a pigeon and an ant.  Finally, on the field she told a story about the Loneliest Giant and how the salt water shrank him.  She encouraged the children to not forget the stories she shared with them and to tell them to others.

You can find out more about Elly by clicking here.

Bread Babies

I had not planned to go to this event, but whilst at an event of my own, I was told about it and when I asked my son if he would like to go, he did.

This event was run by author Richard O’Neil and took place at The Bakery which was a very fitting venue considering the story being shared.  The children all sat beautifully at the back of the bakery, listening to a very imaginative tale of a Baker that decided to make bread babies for their customers but there was enough dough left over to make a life size baby. Once baked the big baby vanished only to turn up in the home of a couple that desperately wanted a baby of their own but never had such luch. Now the bread baby is alive and they adopt it.

It was a very entertaining story and Richard shared it in a way that engaged the children.  I was very impressed with how Noah paid attention and even whispered “Our baby isn’t made of bread?”

At the end, the owner of the bakery kindly shared some bread babies that she had baked for all the children – there were even some little redhead (jam) ones.  My compliments to the Baker – they were so delicious and didn’t make it home.

To learn more about Richard O’Neill and his books, you can follow him on Twitter or visit his website.

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Pop-up books

Here, I share my collection of pop-up books and what makes them unique and special.

The hardest thing about pop-up books is that they do tend to be a little fragile and because they are very exciting this can cause children to damage them unintentionally.  In addition, some younger children may not have the skills to operate the pop-ups without causing damage which can be upsetting.

You will have to judge when your child is ready for them and may need to supervise the books. For example, only share them at special occasions or as a reward rather than leaving them out for you child to explore alone.

Some of these books are aimed at children specifically and are more hardy. Others are designed to show off the artwork of the author or the beauty of pop-up books.

The Tickle Book  and The Bedtime Book

  • Author:  Ian Whybrow
  • Illustrator:  Axel Scheffler

Tickle Monster and co

These books are designed especially for young children.  They have a rhyming story line that they’ll enjoy listening to.  The book has tabs to pull to cause parts of the story to move or pop-up.  With ‘The Tickle Book’ I tend to tickle my son every time the tickle monster pops up.  ‘The Bedtime’ book is probably better for bedtime as there is no tickling.

Snowman and the snowdog

Father Christmas bought this book for my son so it is no surprise that it is magical.  The first part of the book is a normal picture book following the classic story of The Snowman and the Snowdog.  However, when you reach the last page you are in for a surprise.


The book has a sensor that causes built in lights to switch on and cause the stars in the sky to twinkle and a scene of London at night to pop up.  It is a beautiful ending and my son loves London so he points out the famous sights from the scene.

How to Find Flower Fairies

  • Author:  Cicely Mary Barker

Flower Fairies

This pop up book is written as a collection of discoveries about faeries. The pages are very elaborate scenes that pop up and have notes and journals entries about the faeries.  The front cover and camera on the last page has a holographic image that moves.  It truly is a beautiful book about faeries with so much thought and detail gone into every page.  However, I wouldn’t recommend this be shared with young children.

I’ve created a little clip on Instagram to show how clever and beautiful this book is as seeing is believing…


  • Author/Illustrator:  Brian Froud

This tatty old book was produced in 1983 by my favourite artist.  I fell in love with his work which inspired the film Labyrinth (his son was cast as the baby kidnapped by the goblin king).

It is a first edition and I bought it second hand. I probably paid too much for it considering that some of the tags are very fragile but I am so pleased to have a copy.  I do share this with my son on his birthday or if he has been really good and he loves it.  Sadly, he tore the goblins nose on the last page to see the goblins underneath.

There isn’t much of a story but each page has so much detail and the artwork is amazing.  My son loves the last page where you can turn the book upside down to discover more goblins due to how they are drawn – it is genius.  I’ve checked many times to see if this book has been re-released but it hasn’t.


Have you read any of these?  Is there a pop-up book that you think I need to add to my collection – I’d love to hear your recommendations.

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