The Big Write 2016: Magical storytelling with Michael Rosen and Chris Riddell

“A Great Big Cuddle” book reading with Michael Rosen & Chris Ridell | The Greenwich Mummy
“A Great Big Cuddle” book reading with Michael Rosen & Chris Ridell | The Greenwich Mummy
Photo Credit: Google

Last Saturday I took LO to one of special events organised by Stratford’s Discover Children’s Story Centre for The Big Write 2016 – a children’s literature festival from March 3rd to 11th. The book reading of “A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the very young” was performed by the author Michael Rosen and illustrator Chris Riddell.

Michael Rosen is a well-known children’s author and is the curator for The Big Write 2016. One of his popular books, “We’re going on a bear hunt” has been turned into a child-interactive exhibition at Discover. We visited the exhibition a little while back – you can find my review of the day here). Chris Riddell is a well-known children’s illustrator and is this year’s children’s laureate. He has also written various children’s books.

“A Great Big Cuddle” book reading with Michael Rosen & Chris Ridell | The Greenwich Mummy

A magical performance
The pair were absolutely amazing at at their craft. Rosen put on a fantastic performance and really engaged with the children (and at time-to-time, the adults too!) while Riddell entertained us with his funny illustrations. I found it all very magical and slightly surreal to see these two people so close up like this – I’ve never been to a book reading/signing before so didn’t really know what to expect but I am so glad I booked it for myself and LO.

The event held at the Stratford Library and tickets had been on sale on EventBrite and at the Discover Centre via telephone since early February so I was very glad I had still managed to get tickets for it. It started off at around 11am and Rosen read about 4-5 poems from their book, A Great Big Cuddle” while Riddell sketched out characters from the book as the poems were read aloud. Children were encouraged to join in with the rhymes as well as adults. It was great fun!

After the book-reading, the mayor of Stratford made a surprise appearance to thank Discover for all their efforts to make these special events happen and thank Rosen & Riddell for coming. The mayor was even presented with his own sketch by the illustrator at the end of his appearance.

“A Great Big Cuddle” book reading with Michael Rosen & Chris Ridell | The Greenwich Mummy
Chris Riddell crosses out ‘jewellery’ and writes ‘bling’ instead 🙂

Signatures and smiles all around
The book reading was followed by a book signing which was extremely popular. The duo’s books were also on sale so if you didn’t have a book you could purchase one there to have it signed which is what I did for LO. I had been meaning to get him Rosen’s “We’re going on a bear hunt” but never got round to it so now was just the right time. I also picked up a book by Riddell called “Mr. Underbed” so we could have an autograph for both books. The duo’s book “A great big cuddle” was on sale too but it was a heavy book and I wasn’t sure LO would love it as much as the bear hunt one so I didn’t purchase it.

When it was our turn to have our books signed the gentlemen were very patient and happy to sign away. LO even managed to get a lovely photo with the two. You can even see Michael Rosen was having a little play with LO’s dinosaur. 🙂

“A Great Big Cuddle” book reading with Michael Rosen & Chris Ridell | The Greenwich Mummy
It was all smiles and signatures with Michael Rosen (left) & Chris Riddell (right)
“A Great Big Cuddle” book reading with Michael Rosen & Chris Ridell | The Greenwich Mummy
LO’s perfectly signed books – we (well, I) will treasure these for life.

We ended our lovely day with a bus ride home and a reading of both books when we got back home. I asked LO if he enjoyed himself to which he simply replied with a nod of the head and a great big smile!


For more upcoming events at Discover:
http://www.discover.org.uk/whatson

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