Biggest bookshow on earth comes to Edinburgh

The City of Edinburgh Council's famous Usher Hall welcomed two thousand primary school pupils to enjoy free showcases from renowned children’s authors today (3 March) in one of the biggest celebrations for World Book Day 2016.

In partnership with the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the ‘Biggest Bookshow on Earth’ included performances from stand-up comic David Baddiel and Cressida Cowell, author of the international bestseller How To Train Your Dragon, now a major animated movie franchise.

They were joined by award-winning illustrator Nick Sharratt, Jonathan Meres, author of The World of Norm, and author and illustrator duo Cerrie Burnell and Laura Ellen Anderson.  The event, which was compered by Steven Butler, a Roald Dahl Funny Prize nominated author, also included a performance from The Imagination Seekers, celebrating 100 years of the children’s literary icon, Roald Dahl.

After a whirlwind 15 minute showcase from each author, the children had the chance to meet their heroes and ask them burning questions.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener said: “World Book Day is a great opportunity for everyone to share or even start their love of reading and encourage others to get involved. It is so appropriate that Edinburgh, the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, has hosted one of 2016’s biggest World Book Day events. The Usher Hall was a gift to the city and today it has shared the gift of reading. I hope the thousands of children involved have taken away a love of books. Who knows, perhaps some of them might become the city’s next famous authors, illustrators and poets?”

Janet Smyth, Children’s and Education Director at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, who organised the event along with the director of World Book Day, Kirsten Grant, said: “There is no better way to celebrate the power of stories and the excitement sharing the stories brings to young readers, and it is a privilege to be a World Book Day partner.”

Clara Govier, Head of Charities, People’s Postcode Lottery, said “I’m delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting Booked! It is fantastic that through this support the Edinburgh International Book Festival is being taken on the road throughout Scotland allowing more people than ever to experience every that the Festival has to offer.”

Find out more at the World Book Day website.

World Book Day 2016

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