Liverpool’s Biggest Children’s Literature Festival Arrives at Calderstones

The Reader at Calderstones Mansion will play host to Liverpool’s biggest children’s literature festival The Secret Garden of Stories from the 28 to the 30 of August;with a variety of literary events, talks by leading authors in the field, storybook performances as well as games and competitions. Over the three days, festival goers will be treated to quality child friendly stories, art and theatre surrounded by beautifully imaginative designs bringing books to life, created by a group of young volunteers aged 14 – 16.

The ‘Author Den’ will see some well-loved children’s authors including; Andy Mulligan author of The Ribblestrop Trilogy and Trash, the latter of which is due to be released as a feature film this autumn directed by Stephen Daldry featuring Martin Sheen and Rooney Mara; Cathy Cassidy whose books include hits from The Chocolate Box Series; Marshmallow Sky and Cherry Crush; Lydia Monks, one of the best-loved illustrators of her generation, illustrator of the phenomenally successful What The Ladybird Heard with Julia Donaldson. Finally Jon Mayhew will share excerpts from his debut novel Mortlock shortlisted for the 2011 Waterstones’ Children’s Book Prize alongside some of his latest work. There will also be the opportunity to join Laura-Kate Chapman, illustrator of The Kite Princess, for a kite making workshop with a difference.

The Mansion Garden will be transformed into a hive of bookish activity with a fairy-tale forest, book nooks, heritage crafts and shared-reading sessions whilst performances of Roald Dahl’s Dirty Beasts and Revolting Rhymes entertain children and adults alike. There will also be a special performance by the Bookworm Players of The Secret Garden held in Calderstones very own secret garden on the evening of Thursday 28 August.

Families will be encouraged to join the ‘Pets Challenge’ as team cat or team dog (fancy dress optional) and complete a series of games and obstacles to decide who will reign victorious at the end of the day and win some literary treats including a signed first edition of David Walliams Demon Dentist or signed copies of Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories: Angry Aztecs or Woeful Second World War alongside many more.

“I’m really excited to be a part of The Reader’s awesome new children’s literature festival taking place at Calderstones this summer… how cool? It’s all about helping kids to discover the books that really switch them on to reading, stories that inspire and fire up their imaginations… and that’s the kind of magic that can last a lifetime!”

Cathy Cassidy

Prices and booking

Author Talks: £5

Garden entry: £1

The Secret Garden: £8 Adults / £5 Concession

All can be booked by emailing or online at /events.aspx

Author Schedule

28 August 2pm – 3pm: John Mayhew

29 August 2pm – 3.30pm Lydia Monks

30 August 12pm – 1.30pm Cathy Cassidy

30 August 2pm – 3pm Andy Mulligan

The Secret Garden of Stories is coming to Calderstones

This August, something very exciting can be found at Calderstones Mansion House…

The Reader Organisation is proud to present our very first Children’s Literature Festival, opening up the secret garden at the Mansion House for The Secret Garden of Stories. From Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 August, join us for a host of great literature for children, as well as craft workshops and activities for the family, games, competitions and special storytelling sessions of Roald Dahl’s Dirty Beasts and Revolting Rhymes.

We’re delighted to have some very special guests – a host of wonderful children’s authors who will be sharing their stories and signing books. Kids can come into the Author’s Den and meet Andy Mulligan, Cathy Cassidy, Lydia Monks and Jon Mayhew.

The festival will also include a very special performance of The Secret Garden by The Bookworm Players on Thursday 28 August.

The Secret Garden of Stories Programme

  • Garden entry on Thursday 28, Friday 29 and Saturday 30 August – £1
  • Author’s Den: Meet Jon Mayhew – Thursday 29 August, 2-3pm
  • The Bookworm Players presents The Secret Garden – Thursday 28 August, 6.30-7.30pm
  • Author’s Den: Meet Lydia Monks – Friday 29 August, 2-3.30pm
  • Author’s Den: Meet Cathy Cassidy – Saturday 30 August, 12-1.30pm
  • Author’s Den: Meet Andy Mulligan – Saturday 30 August, 2-3pm

We couldn’t run such wonderful events without our friends, supporters and volunteers, and we’re always on the lookout for organisations and companies who might want to get involved as a partner or sponsor.


Share this page: