The banners were out, the posters were up, the flyers were flying round the town, and sure enough last weekend the big day arrived. Bradford on Avon Library flung open its doors, and families and eager children from all over Wiltshire flooded in to join in the fun.

The fourth Bradford on Avon Mini Book Festival was another rip-roaring success. Thank you so much to everyone who came along, everyone who gave their time and worked so hard to make it happen. There are too many to thank personally but we’d like to mention a few.

Behind the scenes Rachel Leyshon and Kesia Lupo from Chicken House installed themselves in an office and met up with budding and very committed children’s authors, some of whom had travelled from as far away as Harrogate, and even Scotland(!) to take up a valuable one-to-one meeting with these fantastic editors. Thank you, Rachel and Kesia, for your graciousness, your calmness and your insight. Good luck to all the new authors too. We’ll be rooting for you. Who knows, maybe BOAMBF will help fledge a published writer one of these days!P1370420-1This year’s guest stars, Michelle Robinson and Fred Blunt certainly didn’t disappoint.  Their Grandmas from Mars event was an absolute hoot and Michelle turned into an alien grandma before our very eyes – complete with trolley bag, stick and a very green face!

P1370409-1Fred went on to give a masterclass in illustration, inspiring the artists of tomorrow. If you were there, we’ll let you in on a secret. Fred said afterwards, “The children were so engaged and the drawings they did were full of life and originality :)” Just like his own drawings that cropped up on the day – look at this characterful pair!

Anna Wilson was especially hard at work this year, creating a cast of dodgy villains on the one hand and a whole host of miniature gardens on the other. Children loved the chance to get into this one.

Here we see two young gardeners’ gardens, one comes complete with slugs. Mmm, a slug special – now there’s a proper down to earth realist if ever there was one.

polly gardenSharon Tregenza gave out puzzles and quiz questions  to children, and a few dads (!) who enjoyed a thoughtful and creative afternoon session.

Did they know that a murky murder was being plotted upstairs with Fleur Hitchcock and Rachel Ward? We don’t think so.

Certainly Maudie Smith and Angie Morgan who took turns as the Story Hat had no inkling whatsoever…

…Carole from Ex Libris Books was looking the other way…P1370363-2

Ian Mckay didn’t see anything, he was in the foyer facilitating the building of the House of Beano – the perfect accompaniment to this year’s Mischief Makers Summer Reading Challenge.

And Jo and Roma and the other librarians were far too busy signing children up to the Reading Challenge, scooping stragglers out of the museum, and making sure everyone found their way into the workshops and events. Little did they know that real mischief was being plotted right above their heads.

Well, it’s time to say one last big BOAMBF thank you to everyone who came and got involved this year. We had an absolute whale of a time.

Meanwhile, maybe someone should get down to the local zoo, just to make sure everything’s all right…….