Slime and Hip Hop Shakespeare launch Young Readers

By on 19/05/2011 in Culture

Astrosaurs author Steve Cole and MOBO award winning poet Akala visit The Library Theatre at Central Library this Saturday (21 May 2011) to launch the Birmingham Young Readers festival with two sessions designed to inspire even the most reluctant young readers.

From 2 til 3pm, top children's writer Steve Cole will entertain children aged six plus and their families with thrilling adventures, including his favourite topic, astronauts and dinosaurs.  He'll also wow the audience with stories of mad scientists and slimy monsters from his new Slime Squad books.

Later in the day, from 5 - 6pm, join the founder of the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company as Akala motivates a new generation of young people to join the lyrical revolution.  Young people aged ten plus and their families can expect to be both entertained and challenged by this cutting edge MOBO award winning poet.

Tickets for both events are £3 for adults and £2 for under 18s and can be purchased from The Box on 0121 245 4455,

Throughout the Young Readers Birmingham festival, which is mainly free, youngsters can enjoy over 150 fantastic workshops and activities with their favourite storytellers, authors and poets including best seller author of the Magic Kitten, Magic Puppy and Magic Pony books Sue Bentley, Nat from CBeebies' Boogie Babies, authors of the weekly Dandy the Etherington Brothers and magic from Barrington Powell - Wizard of Wonder.

The festival is brought to an exciting close on Saturday 4 June with the chance to meet one of the UK's best loved children's authors, creator of Tracey Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson.  The Finale event, for children aged seven and over, takes place at the Adrian Boult Hall in the Conservatoire from 2 til 3pm.  Tickets are £3 for adults and £2 for under 18s and can be purchased from The Box on 0121 245 4455,

This year's festival also sees the free two-day Book Bash return to Aston Hall for the bank holiday Sunday and Monday.  On Sunday29 and Monday 30 May from 11am until 4.30pm, seven marquees will be filled with performances, storytelling, films and dancing for children and their families.  There are also writing workshops in Aston Hall with Helen Calcutt, David Johnson, Young Poet Laureate Jordan Westcarr and Birmingham's Poet Laureate Roy McFarlane.

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport & Culture said: “Throughout the year, Birmingham's libraries promote reading and literacy to our diverse city's children and young people.  Once again the Young Readers festival provides an exciting programme of free and low cost events to get everyone inspired and involved.”

These are just a selection of the hundreds of events taking part at libraries across the city during the Young Readers festival, which takes place from 21 May to 4 June.  For more information pick up a copy of the Young Readers programme from any Birmingham library, or visit


Media contact: Debbie Harrison on 0121 303 4476

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