Inspiring Gloucestershire’s littlest bookworms, Westonbirt Arboretum's popular children's book festival, Wild Wonder at Westonbirt, is back for another year in September 2023.
With events taking place across the arboretum from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 September 2023, young readers will have the chance to meet their favourite authors and take part in exciting activities, all themed around nature-inspired stories.
SoGlos has rounded up just some of the highlights to look forward to at Wild Wonder at Westonbirt…
Children's authors at Wild Wonder at Westonbirt
Hear from beloved children's author and the pen behind Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson, on Saturday 16 September. She'll share stories about her writing life and read from her new books.
On Sunday 17 September, step into the wilderness with children's author and wildlife enthusiast, Gill Lewis, as she introduces her nature heroine, Willow Wildthing.
There's also a talk from actor and comedian-turned-children's writer, Ben Miller, who will share his love of storytelling on the Sunday.
Interactive events at Wild Wonder at Westonbirt
Arty kids are invited on a nature trail with author and illustrator Anna Terreros-Martin, heading into the woods to draw what they find; join award-winning illustrator and author Petr Horáček for a live drawing and storytelling event; and head on a nature spotting adventure with author and illustrator Conor Busuttil and his kooky creation, Billy Conker — all taking place on Saturday 16 September.
Also on the Saturday, TV wildlife presenter Philippa Forrester leads an awesome adventure to discover the stories behind nature's most incredible journeys; and TV stars Myles and Greg McLeod celebrate their new book series, Knight Sir Louis, with chivalric drawing, comics and reading — with silly voices, of course!
On Sunday 17 September, go foraging with award-winning illustrator Yuval Zommer, hunting for twigs and leaves to make art with; meet Guy Parker-Rees's newest creation, Horrace the Hippo, and join in with drawing and dancing; and learn all about narwhals, the unicorns of the sea, with wildlife filmmaker and author Justin Anderson.
And don't miss the opportunity to go on a prehistoric adventure with TV scientist, Ben Garrod, as he uncovers the biggest, scariest and strangest-looking dinosaur predators that once walked the Earth — also taking place on the Sunday.
Storytelling events at Wild Wonder at Westonbirt
There's lots of chances to venture into the deep dark wood in search of the Gruffalo, with Gruffalo storytelling events on Friday 15, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September — featuring special costumed appearances from the iconic loveable monster!
And especially for little ones under five, on Sunday 17 September, professional storyteller Liz Fost is bringing best-loved children's book series, Farmyard Tales, to life with a fun-filled storytelling event that will get kids involved in helping Poppy and Sam find the animals on Apple Tree Farm.
Tickets for Wild Wonder at Westonbirt are on sale via forestryengland.uk/westonbirt/wild-wonder and include free entry to the arboretum, so families can enjoy a full day of adventures in the magical tree garden.
Children up to the age of two can attend for free – providing they sit on their parent or guardian’s lap for the duration of the event.