"READY, Steady, Read!", Tameside's virtual children's book festival, was a resounding success – and you can take that as read.
Teachers, schools and, most importantly, young people, have all given a huge thumbs-up to the three-week event which closed on Friday, March 12. Comments have ranged from "that was wicked" to demands for it to be repeated.
The festival, which ran in conjunction with the Tameside Loves Reading campaign, comprised 15 workshops with 11 guests from the world of junior literature as well as a virtual theatre performance.
Almost 3,000 children, 240 adults and 22 schools took part in the Zoom sessions to hear from people like Caryl Hart, who has worked with families to create storybooks for the under-fours as part of Tameside Council's ongoing Story Makers projects; Guy Parker Rees, illustrator of the international best-seller "Giraffes Can't Dance"; poet Dominic Berry, winner of the 2020 Saboteur Award for Best Spoken-word Artist and Marie Basting, author of "Princess BMX".
Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council's executive member with responsibility for culture, said: "I think it's fair to say 'Ready, Steady, Read!' couldn't have gone better and I would like to thank the people who worked so hard to make it possible.
"Our key aim was to generate enthusiasm for reading and books, and according to the teachers who have got back to us we succeeded in that endeavour.
"We had a great time bringing it to life for the children. It certainly seems to have given them a fun, positive experience in these challenging times."