From Riverton to Balingup

‘Haste Yo Back’ to Balingup for the Telling Tales Festival

Between Riverton, in the city, and Balingup, in the country all of my books got a workout last weekend.

At Riverton Library on Friday two groups of 4-7 year olds had a lot of fun with Miss Llewellyn-Jones. They heard about Teddy’s adventures, and misadventures, in Miss Llewellyn-Jones Goes to Town. They discovered the parallel story told by Moira Court’s evocative endpapers. And they turned Miss Llewellyn-Jones into a play – four times!

On Saturday and Sunday it was the slightly older reader’s (8-13 year olds) who came to four of my workshop sessions at the annual Balingup Telling Tales Festival. Each year the south-west town of Balingup decks itself out with giant storybook characters standing in the main street and outside the Town Hall. At least a dozen presenters and hundreds of people, mostly families with children, descend on the town over the weekend to take part in what has become one of the best festivals anywhere. Black Jack Anderson struck fear in to the hearts of some and inspired others to visit Middle Island (in their imaginations) in a search for this real-life pirate’s lost treasure. All of my other fiction books were on display too. And everyone who took part in the workshops had the opportunity do some writing of their own and to ask questions about writing, publishing, illustrations and research. Between sessions there were young people performing street theatre, and playing musical instruments. And in the middle of the day the annual parade of story book characters, accompanied by the Pied Piper playing his flute, passed through the town. What a great event to be involved in! Long may the Telling Tales Festival continue to thrive.

‘… or I may have to turn you into a toad,’ says the Balingup Witch

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