Thousands of children visited Blackburn with Darwen libraries as part of the 6th Children's Literature Festival. 

The series of events aims to inspire young children to read and was organised by Christina Gabbitas.

The Mayor Cllr Brian Taylor attended several sessions in Darwen Library. The festival featured sessions including  'Trapped in County Lines', hosted by Christina; Dom Conlon's 'Matilda the Rocket Builder' and Dan Worsley who introduced his character Eric Appleby.

There was also sessions on learning how to draw emotions with Blackburn illustrator Reyhanna Ismail and flipping chapattis with author Yesmien Bagh Ali.

Thousands of school children took part from across the borough

Christina said. “Once again the whole festival has been a huge success. Children and teachers were treated to several sessions from a fantastic team of authors and illustrators.

“It was wonderful to see the Mayor taking part and taking time to listen to all the artists who are inspiring so many children.”

A range of interactive sessions were held at local libraries

Christina engaged with pupils using her story 'Believe in The Magic of Blackburn' created during the pandemic. 

Service Manager at Blackburn with Darwen Libraries, Adele Karwatt, said. “Christina once again brought us a whirlwind of authors, illustrators and poets to weave their curiosity and magic that of books and reading can bring.

"We are very grateful for the continued working partnership with our patron Christina to make this happen.”

Community Days were held in both Darwen and Blackburn libraries, where all children who attended received a free book. 

Donavan Christopher aka Rappaman enthralled audiences in Darwen Library Theatre with his poetry, and in Blackburn Central library, award winning author Oliver Sykes performed his story 'Fishing For Rainbows'.

Christina said, “I would like to thank all the staff in Blackburn with Darwen Libraries for their amazing support, and all who have helped fund the festival; Darwen Rotary, Lloyds Trust, Darwen Town Council, and Spot On Lancashire."