Ipswich Children’s Book Group

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40th Logo black

Ipswich Children’s Book Group is celebrating their 40th birthday in 2016 with a host of events, being involved in the first BooksEast Festival (see below) and hosting the Jean Russell Storyteller in November.

The BooksEast Festival was a great success. The inaugural BooksEast Festival took place from the 9th-15th May and the Ipswich Town Hall and Corn Exchange were busy with a variety of author events for all ages and interests.

Ipswich CBG helped with the children’s programme and Gallery 3 was filled with laughter and giggles (from adults as well as children!) as James Campbell got our events off to a wonderful start and one young member of the audience spoke for us all as he announced, “I absolutely loved that!” bookeast 2
Tracey Corderoy was next, introducing us to Shifty McGifty, Slippery Sam and Kitty Le Claw.  There were also bouncy spiders to make, a game to play and cake to eat.  As we are celebrating our 40th birthday this year we felt the day would not be complete without a cake and were delighted to have Tracy cut it for us.
The afternoon started with more giggles as Ruth Fitzgerald shared her Emily Sparkes books with us, plus stories of her writing, her family and dog Ozzy. Anniversary Author
The day finished with riddles from  Kevin Crossley-Holland who talked about his latest book Heartsong, which tells of the healing power of music.  It is set in Venice with exquisite pictures by Jane Ray, who we discovered is not only a talented illustrator but also has a beautiful voice.
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Finally on Sunday we were treated to one of the nation’s favourite authors, Francesca Simon holding her first event for her latest book The Monstrous Child, which is for older children and has been receiving wonderful reviews. We judged the short story competition themed ‘Waves’ and Francesca kindly announced the winners – Emotions by Ana Barbara Popescu (11-13 age group), a powerful interpretation of the theme and Isolated Within the Waves by Lucy Cant (14-16 age group), a really lyrical piece of writing.
Prizegiving Francesca Simon
A successful weekend and next year’s festival is already panned for 8-14th May 2017 – so save the date!

Founded in 1976, Ipswich Children’s Book Group has been spreading the word that books are fun and reading is enjoyable in the local area for the past 40 years. As a member of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups we also help to encourage the availability of books for children of all ages, from first picture books to young adults, working closely with publishers, bookshops, libraries, schools and other national organisations. Our committee members aim to share their passion for books and reading through a variety of activities including author visits, story based events and quizzes, as well as providing information about all aspects of the children’s book world.


Previous events

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National Share-a-Story Month

After much deliberation the judges chose three winners: a beautifully descriptive poem, a well designed sock puppet and a marvellous painted model of a dragon called Loveheart made by a 4 year old with help from her uncle. There were also three highly commended prizes given.

The prizes were presented during our event held as part of the Solstice Storytelling Festival at Sutton Hoo on Saturday 20th June.  Brave souls entering the Dragon’s Lair were able to help complete a dragon by making a scale to add to the outline picture. Our grateful thanks to committee member Hannah Mee for painting this.

We were joined by a trio of dragon slaying Anglo Saxons, from re-enactment group Eadfaelder, who also announced our winners and helped present the prizes.

The dragon remained on display at Sutton Hoo for their Dragon Quest weekend in July, when they held a competition to name it.  Our dragon is now called Heatwave.



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Ipswich CBG hosted a one-day conference on Non-Fiction in November 2014.

IpswichadventuresThis was an inspiring day celebrating National Non-Fiction November and with the help of some incredible speakers – Clive Gifford, winner of this year’s Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize, Christopher Lloyd from What on Earth publishing, Lucy Letherland, Chris Brown and Sarah Ridley – we were taken on adventures all around the world, out into space and back 4.6 billion years to the beginning of the Earth.  Along the way we visited the animal kingdom, the word of science and maths, as well as making a poignant visit to WW1.  In our journey we were supported by the Norfolk Children’s Book Centre and the Schools Library Service.

 A day that showed just where the wealth of children’s information books can take them.


To read the most recent newsletter (Winter 2014) from Ipswich CBG click here.

Previous Newsletters
Summer 2014
May 2014
Summer 2013 
January 2013
July 2012

Past Events








An Ipswich CBG event in 2006 with storyteller Clifford Norgate

It’s not just books at local Children’s Book Group events! These are cakes from a pirate party held by Ipswich Children’s Book Group with author Justin Somper.

H.M. Castor talks about her visit to the book group for the launch of VIII here.


Contact: Jayne Gould jayne.gould@btopenworld.com or Jayne Gould, 34 Salehust Road, Ipswich, IP3 8RY, Tel. 01473 714672.