A FESTIVAL of children’s literature is set to Pop Up in Purfleet.

Children’s writers, illustrators, poets and storytellers will be aiming to entertain and inspire families during the free day-long event which will be abuzz with book-based and arts orientated activities at the High House Production Park.

And the Thurrock Gazette is backing the event on Saturday, May 3, which seeks to ignite imaginations, inspire future readers and writers, and build more literate communities.

James Mayhew, creator of the hugely popular series of books Katie’s Picture Show, will be at the event, with a pop-up art gallery, where giant art-works by classic artists – co-created with children and parents – come to life.

Other authors involved in bringing the project together are Artichoke Heart writer Sita Brahmachari, myths and fantasy author Sarwat Chadda, picture book creator Thomas Docherty, multi-award-winning author Julia Golding, picture book artist James Mayhew and fairy tale writer Jane Ray.

Thurrock Gazette: James Mayhew

James Mayhew 

Dylan Calder, Pop Up Projects director, said: “Pop Up Festival is a children's literature festival with a twist. It's about experimenting with storytelling to bring books and stories to life.

“Pop Up is like a travelling circus - think of a fairground with lots of sideshows - providing exciting opportunities for young people to encounter the diverse people who write, draw, tell and make stories.

“And it’s all completely free! So that families from all walks of life can join us in celebrating the imagination.

He added: “Authors are fantastic at engaging children and we believe children should access fantastic books from the very start of their life and education.”

The festival is free and will run between 12pm and 6pm at the High House Production Park, Vellacott Close, Purfleet.

Highlights of the festival will include:

*The works of fantasy author Sarwat Chadda’s Marvel Comics inspired interpretations of classic myths, brought to life through performance and monster puppets.

*Novelist Julia Golding’s Arthurian Pavilion, featuring medieval game shows, knights, minstrels and the legendary Round Table.

*Illustrator Jane Ray’s giant toy theatre, telling tales of mermaids, firebirds and flying horses.

*Mr Big illustrator Ed Vere’s 50s era jazz joint with a cabaret line-up, whacky cocktails and compulsory dressing-up.

Thurrock Gazette: Julia Golding

Julia Golding with her Young Knight's exhibit in the Arthurian Pavillion at the festival