The festival, organised by Darlington Libraries, is a week-long extravaganza of storytelling, arts and crafts, music, LEGO® Block parties, author visits and more for the whole family to enjoy in celebration of World Book Day.

Three colourful book benches will be displayed in the library – pictured above with Suzy Hill, library events manager, Laura Pattison, library events officer, and the Mayor of Darlington Cllr Veronica Copeland.

The benches have been decorated by pupils from Corporation Road, Abbey, Rydal, Firthmoor, Hurworth, Haughton Academy, St John’s and Springfield schools, working with artists Donna Newman, Megan Evans and Daniel Weatheritt, and inspired by local resdients’ favourite children’s authors and books.

BookFest events:

All tickets are free, but places are limited and must be booked in advance via the library’s events page.

On Tuesday 5 March, join Garry Parsons, the award-winning illustrator of ‘The Dinosaur that Pooped…’ series, ‘Nuddy Ned’, and ‘Dragonsitters’ among many more, to find out what it’s like to be an illustrator at Dinosaurs, Dragons and Drawings. This interactive event is from 4.30pm-5.30pm and is suitable for children aged 5 and above.

Find out how applique can offer a wide range of creative opportunities using scraps of fabric and a sewing needle in Fun with Fabric. In this adult only workshop, parents, grandparents, and carers will be provided with materials, learn applique techniques and take home their finished design. This event takes place on Wednesday 6 March between 9.30am and 1.30am.

Parents, grandparents, and carers can bring along the children to decorate some yummy cupcakes to take home in a Cupcake Decorating session on Wednesday 6 March 1pm-3pm. This event is suitable for children aged 3 to 5.

A gaming night is being held for 11- to 16-year-olds, on Wednesday 6 March 6.30pm-8pm. A Gamerholics video gaming session where you can test your skills against fellow gamers and make new friends.

Darly’s Magic History Tour offers the chance for children five and above to experience an interactive story session for children aged 5 and above. This takes place on World Book Day, Thursday 7 March between 4.30pm and 5.30pm and all who attend will receive a World Book Day voucher to spend in local book shops.

Children aged 2 to 5 can take part in World of Books Arts and Crafts for stories, songs, and crafts. On Friday 8 March 10.30am-12.30pm.

The Feather, the Tooth, and the Kiss is a friendship story where children aged 2 to 5 can sing songs, meet puppets, play with props and have fun. On Friday 8 March 1.30pm-2.30pm.

Creative children can enter a world of imagination at the Lego Block Party, where they will build, race, and compete against one another using LEGO® bricks. All sessions for different age groups take place on Saturday 9 March throughout the day between 9.30am and 1pm.

A Stop Motion Animation workshop is being held for those who want to try their hand at making their own mini movie, using a variety of tools from modelling clay and LEGO® to popular toy figures. The workshop is suitable for ages 11-16 and is on Saturday 9 March 1pm-3pm.

Charlie and the Awesome Authors is an exciting chance to learn about the world’s most famous authors in an engaging way. Recommended for children aged 5-7, this event is on Saturday 9 March 9.45am-10.30am and again at 10.45am-11.30am.

For Harry Potter fans, BookFest offers chance to take part in a lesson at Hogwarts. A Day at Hogwarts lets children take part in spell making lessons, potion creation, and wand control. Recommended for children between 7 and 11. This event takes place on Saturday 9 March, with two sessions at 12pm-1.30pm and 2pm-3.30pm.

Finally, travel back to the 1960s with The Phat Tyrtles and join BIG Little Gig on Saturday 9 March 4.30pm-5.30pm. There’ll be family-friendly live music, craft, singalong, and space to dance.