The inaugural Ross-on-Wye Children’s Book Festival proved a roaring success, marked by an array of vibrant activities and a competition that captured the town’s collective imagination.

Winners, photographed alongside community champion Tim Shelley, were the proud victors of the engaging Children’s Book Character Trail competition that spanned across the town.

Isla, winner of the Over 8’s competition, received £25 worth of vouchers from Rossiter Books. Meanwhile, the Under 8’s champion, Gareth, won an assortment of The Gruffalo gifts courtesy of Little Saplings. 

The festival, a collaborative endeavour backed by Ross Town Council and Ross Library Development Group, was launched with the town’s Mayor presenting certificates and book tokens to children who excelled in writing and drawing competitions, organised with local schools. Ross Community Garden bustled with excitement, hosting captivating storytime sessions, intriguing trails, and providing a platform for local authors like Charlotte L Taylor and Nan Morgan-Dew.

Another festival highlight was the workshop led by renowned author and illustrator Elka Evalds at the town library. As the festival progressed, Art Studio Ross became a hub of creativity with well-attended workshops that thrilled young participants. Adding to the festivities, local businesses created a unique character trail throughout various shops, a venture embraced warmly by the community.

Attendees were treated to a screening of ‘Matilda The Musical’ at St. Mary’s Church Hall, hosted by Flicks in the Sticks. Reflecting on the festival’s success, Tim Shelley from the Steering Group said, “We are delighted. Our hope is that this festival will grow and inspire many more children to immerse themselves in books.”