Beanstalk BookFest 2018 arrives in Norwich 31 October 2018 On Tuesday over 100 children from across seven Norfolk and Suffolk primary schools took part in a day celebrating storytelling as part of Beanstalk BookFest 2018. Beanstalk BookFest is a free literacy festival organised each year by Beanstalk. The charity exclusively invites schools it works with to take part in inspiring and interactive workshops, which are generously supported by the venues, authors and illustrators who give their time to spread a love of books and reading. This year, for the first time, Beanstalk BookFest came to Norfolk thanks to the Norwich Puppet theatre and Norfolk Cottages which hosted a day of inspiring activities featuring workshops led by storyteller Diana Mullis, illustrator Julia Groves and author Tom Blofeld. Children also had the opportunity to be ‘hands on’ with a variety of different books and took part in a story drawing challenge. At the end of the day all the children went home with a book thanks to a generous donation from Marilyn Brocklehurst, owner of the Norfolk Children’s Book Centre. Beanstalk BookFest is a special event which has only been able to happen nationally for the first time this year thanks to the authors and illustrators who give their time to help spread a love of reading through these inspirational workshops. At last year's Beanstalk BookFest approximately 300 school children were given the opportunity to take part just in London. This year Beanstalk expects to more than double that number with events happening across the country including Norfolk, Suffolk, Swindon, Northampton and London. Julia Groves said: “I am very excited to be participating in the Beanstalk Bookfest, it is always interesting to share my books with children and to see their reactions! I hope to be able to help inspire and encourage a new generation of life-long readers, through supporting the amazing work of Beanstalk.” Diana Mullis said: “Since the dawn of time, storytellers have not just been the tellers of tales, they have been the guides, teachers, entertainers, advocates of change and healers of humanity. Where reading is difficult, through storytelling the imagination can run riot and hopefully one can encourage the other.” Find out more about all the events happening as part of Beanstalk BookFest 2018. Find out how your school can get involved with Beanstalk.