A FEST QUEST AT THE CHILDREN’S IMAGINE FESTIVAL 2015
Any of you who have been following my blogs for a few months now I hope are beginning to understand where I’m coming from in trying to show how maintaining an interest in reading extends beyond the book itself. I often highlight here on this blog and my Facebook page any upcoming book related events which I think look interesting and exciting for young readers and in turn talk about the benefits and how attending these events aids their understanding and enthusiasm for reading. However so far I have not blogged about any of the actual events themselves! So today I thought I would let you know how my family and I got on at the Children’s Imagine Festival last Sunday at the Southbank Centre in London. Our first hand experience of what it was like and what each of us got out of it.
So we packed ourselves into the London bound train with tickets in hand heading for the Sea Quest family workshop. My eldest has read some of the books whereas my youngest hadn’t got a clue what they were all about but we still thought it was worth taking him as he usually likes to get stuck in with anything creative.
We arrived a little bit earlier to give us time to absorb the atmosphere of people bustling up and down the stairs, admire the early years vintage library corner and the preparations underway in the foyer for the Young Orchestra for London.
Once we’d weaved our way upwards through the crowds to the 5th floor we weren’t really sure what to expect next as the approachable staff ushered us into one of the practical function rooms at the Royal Festival Hall.
Each child gingerly located a comfy spot on the tarpaulin covered floor and the adults perched on chairs around the room whilst we were welcomed by an intrepid explorer; who at times I did feel was possibly being chased by one of the Beast Quest monsters judging by the rather overly rushed delivery of the presentation! None the less, he was enthusiastic and kept the children fully engaged and eager to demonstrate their impressive knowledge of weaponry and indestructible beasts.
In order to lead everyone into the world of Adam Blade and his torturous, terrifying monsters, a lively discussion was initiated about what would make a good hero followed by a bingo version of Beast Quest monsters and a bag of goodies thrust upon four lucky winners.
Next we saw the children participating in a group brainstorming session to design their own underwater battleship and creepy creature to combat. The children’s vivid and varied imaginations resulted in the Crab Destroyer being top trumped by the Undefeatable Defeater!
Therefore it is with reluctance that I say perhaps a slight anti-climax was felt on my part, possibly stemming from an unrealistic expectation of the event judging by the numbers attending but I had hoped for more individual participation and thought there was potential for the organisers to have expanded on the story creation idea before bundling us out clutching our free bookmark. As the workshop was hosted by the book publisher, anyone expecting to see Mr Blade himself would have been sorely disappointed too but on the whole it was very reasonably priced at £4 per child for such an entertaining and animated activity. Much had been crammed into the fifty short minutes and the event had achieved what it had set out to do. From our point of view the duration meant both boys interest was maintained throughout and we could easily combine our trip to London with meeting friends for dinner and breathing in the atmosphere of the Embankment with buskers by the river, onlookers milling around the skate park and tempting aromas engulfing the food market.
We even succumbed to buying one of the Sea Quest books afterwards for our eldest which at the reduced price of £3 didn’t leave us feeling robbed in any way. The workshop has undoubtedly renewed my son’s interest in the books as he had already finished the new book by the time we had hopped off the train home. He has also since uncovered three more at our local library! So the publishers will be happy, the author should be very happy and as the parents of one happy reader, we too are happy and couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome. All in all amounting to the successful completion of our own compelling quest.
Beast Quest and Sea Quest Series by Adam Blade.
CLICK TO BUY Ferno the Fire Dragon: Book 1 (Beast Quest)
CLICK TO BUY Cephalox the Cyber Squid: Book 1 (Sea Quest)
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