Some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most beloved children’s book creators will ignite the imaginations of young readers at the Ignition Children’s Book Festival in Dunedin this October.
Now in its third year, Ignition presents an engaging programme for families and for readers, writers and illustrators of all ages from Thursday 8 October to Tuesday 13 October, with a strong focus on improving children’s literacy and fostering a love of reading.
There are many free events for families to enjoy, including a fabulous Family Day at the Dunedin City Library which features a breakfast book club, storytelling sessions, writing and illustrating workshops for children, and craft activities. Other events throughout the weekend include a poetry slam, a teen pizza party, a film screening and a magazine cover design competition.
While aimed primarily at children and teens, the programme has plenty on offer for creators of children’s literature, parents, teachers and librarians, too. Selina Tusitala Marsh ONZM, a former New Zealand Poet Laureate and author/illustrator of the much-lauded 2019 graphic novel, Mophead, will deliver a keynote address on the essence of storytelling. There will also be panels on writing and illustrating for children, writing for the gaming industry and on making books for a New Zealand audience.
Other local luminaries participating in the weekend’s festivities include Dunedin’s own David Elliot, Ella West, Swapna Haddow, Rachel McCoubrey, Michelle Elvy, Emma Wood, and Lisa Blaikie. They will be joined by Gavin Bishop, Ruby Jones, and Gecko Press director and publisher, Julia Marshall. Read more in the full Festival programme.
Ignition Children’s Book Festival is the product of a proud partnership between University Book Shop Otago and Dunedin Public Libraries.
University Book Shop Manager, Phillippa Duffy, is delighted with this year’s programme. “We’re looking forward to another vibrant weekend celebrating New Zealand children’s books here in Dunedin, a UNESCO City of Literature,” she says. “We’ve enjoyed wonderful support from the community – last year, 3000 people attended Ignition, and we hope to see many of them return, and maybe even some new faces as well.”
Dunedin Public Library Events Coordinator, Kay Mercer, agrees. “Ignition has been created to showcase and share the joy of reading and making books, so young readers are sure to find sessions to inspire, delight and spark their imaginations,” she says.
This year, Ignition is thrilled to be working more closely with the National Library’s Community of Readers project – which is hosting an event for the South Dunedin community – and also with the Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature, which is sponsoring an event with local writer Emma Wood.
Visit the Ignition website at www.ignitionkids.nz