The festival was open at 9.30am and we arrived just after to collect the tickets for our chosen shows. I booked up for Julia Donaldson & Catherine Rayner as Harlow loves the Gruffalo and I booked the hubby and Logan into Gruesome Greeks by Chae Strathie. Both shows were lovely and the authors were great. I was impressed by how much Julia Donaldson actually did and she also showed of her new book with illustrator Catherine Rayner - The Go-Away Bird.
Most authors are doing book signings after their shows and since we already had a few books signed by Julia Donaldson Logan wanted to buy Chae Strathie's books and have them signed. He was so happy and thanks to Chae for squeezing us in as Logan hates a queue (all you autism parents will know the feeling). This book signing was being held in The Garden Bookshop which is massive this year. Lots of space to move around and lots of books to see. It was lovely and also has a cafe bar available.
We settled down in the middle of the festival, after the book signing, where there were plenty of tables, chairs and benches to sit on and waited for the next show. We had some snacks and got ice cream as there was plenty of food and drinks stalls available. You can also bring your own picnic and just enjoy the atmosphere.
As well as the shows you can book to see there are free drop in activities for families to do and these differ for each day of the festival. On Saturday it was 50 Years of the Hungry Caterpillar with crafts and activities open from 11:00 to 16:30 in the Baillie Gifford Story Box. There's a lovely little play area for the children too which is really nice.
It was very very busy at the book festival but if you require any additional support they are more than happy to accommodate. Logan was able to stand in the assistance queue to get into a venue which was much smaller than the normal queue as you can imagine. This made all the difference to his experience and was much appreciated.
We popped along to the Harry Hill show which was brilliant. He was honestly so funny and his show was very interactive which was great. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. We had to leave the book festival a little earlier than planned as the kids were being a couple of pests but we really enjoyed our time there and would definitely go back. It's the first time I've ever been and so much better than I could have ever expected. There's a great family feel to it all with lots of children's authors, shows and characters dressed up from the books, there's even a dedicated family section on the book festivals website so check it out for more details. The festival runs until 26th August so definitely go along for a great day out.
I was gifted the show tickets in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.