Inspiring Gloucestershire’s littlest bookworms, Westonbirt Arboretum is introducing a brand-new children’s book festival this August 2022, dedicated to stories around nature, animals and the great outdoors.
With events taking place across the arboretum from Saturday 27 to Monday 29 August 2022, young readers will have the chance to meet their favourite authors – with the likes of Michael Morpurgo and Cressida Cowell on the bill – 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…
Wild Wonder at Westonbirt on Saturday 27 August 2022
Revealing why it’s so important to have diversity of plants, animals and environments, CBeebies presenter Jess French will be talking to little ones about how we can protect our wonderful world at 10am.
Elsewhere, step back to the Stone Age with children’s author, Michelle Paver, as she reveals the mythology behind her bestselling Wolf Brother series at 12pm; and be inspired by teenage environmentalist Dara McAnulty as he talks about his experiences with nature and his activism at 2pm.
There’s also a costumed appearance from The Gruffalo, with storytelling and activities inspired by Julia Donaldson’s bestselling book at 10am.
Wild Wonder at Westonbirt on Sunday 28 August 2022
Fascinating animal lovers, Martin Brown – who is best known for illustrating Horrible Histories – will host an event around his Lesser-Spotted Animals book at 10am, teaching youngsters about some of the world’s most brilliant beasts.
He’ll also be holding an animal drawing workshop at 1.30pm, where creative kids can have a go at sketching their own cartoon creatures.
Jess French will take intrepid visitors on a guided trek into Westonbirt’s forests to hunt for creepy crawlies at 10.30am; while tiny children and their parents can hear professional storyteller, Liz Fost, read Guess How Much I Love You at 12.15pm and 3.45pm — with a special appearance from Little Nutbrown Hare!
Wild Wonder at Westonbirt on Monday 29 August 2022
Hear from Wild Wonder’s biggest names, with talks from Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate and author of How to Train Your Dragon, at 2pm; and the iconic Michael Morpurgo, who wrote War Horse, The Butterfly Lion and many more children’s classics at 4pm.
Author and illustrator Rachel Bright will be doing interactive readings of her favourite animal stories at 11am and 3pm; and The Girl Who Stole an Elephant author Nizrana Farook will be hosting an event inspired by her thrilling adventure novels at 12pm.
Plus, there’s the opportunity to forage in the forest with award-winning illustrator, Yuval Zommer, during his fun nature art workshop at 11am.
Tickets for Wild Wonder at Westonbirt are on sale via forestryengland.uk/westonbirt/wild-wonder.
Prices vary for each event and a standard admission cost of £11 applies for adults.
Ticket prices for every event are the same for adults and children, while 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.