Park hosts literary events

The Reader Organisation at Calderstones Mansion will play host to Liverpool’s biggest children’s literature festival The Secret Garden of Stories from the 28th to the 30th of August; with a variety of literary events, talks by leading authors in the field, storybook performances as well as games and competitions. Over the three days, festival goers will be treated to quality child friendly stories, art and theatre surrounded by beautifully imaginative designs bringing books to life, created by a group of young volunteers aged 14 – 16.

The ‘Author Den’ will see some well-loved children’s authors including; Andy Mulligan author of The Ribblestrop Trilogy and Trash the latter of which is due to be released as a feature film this autumn directed by Stephen Daldry featuring Martin Sheen and Rooney Mara, Cathy Cassidy whose books include hits from The Chocolate Box Series; Marshmallow Sky and Cherry Crush, Lydia Monks, one of the best-loved illustrators of her generation, illustrator of the phenomenally successful What The Ladybird Heard with Julia Donaldson. Finally Jon Mayhew will share excerpts from his debut novel Mortlock shortlisted for the 2011 Waterstones’ Children’s Book Prize alongside some of his latest work. There will also be the opportunity to join Laura-Kate Chapman illustrator of The Kite Princess for a kite making workshop with a difference.

The Mansion Garden will be transformed into a hive of bookish activity with a fairy-tale forest, book nooks, heritage crafts and shared-reading sessions whilst performances of Roald Dahl’s Dirty Beasts and Revolting Rhymes entertain children and adults alike. There will also be a special performance by the Bookworm Players of The Secret Garden held in Calderstones very own secret garden on the evening of Thursday 28th August. 

Families will be encouraged to join the ‘Pets Challenge’ as team cat or team dog (fancy dress optional) and complete a series of games and obstacles to decide who will reign victorious at the end of the day and win some literary treats including a signed first edition of David Walliams Demon Dentist or signed copies of Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories: Angry Aztecs or Woeful Second World War alongside many more.

“I’m really excited to be a part of The Reader Organisation’s awesome new children’s literature festival taking place at Calderstones this summer… how cool? It’s all about helping kids to discover the books that really switch them on to reading, stories that inspire and fire up their imaginations… and that’s the kind of magic that can last a lifetime!” Cathy Cassidy


Prices and booking

Author Talks: £5

Garden entry: £1

The Secret Garden: £8 Adults / £5 Concession

All can be booked by emailing or online at

Author Schedule

28th August 2pm – 3pm: John Mayhew

29th August 2pm – 3.30pm Lydia Monks

30th August 12pm – 1.30pm Cathy Cassidy

30th August 2pm – 3pm Andy Mulligan

Liverpool Waterfront