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Exciting Emphasis on Children

Monster hunts, Playshop Fairy Tales, Teddy Bear Adventures and Code Cups are part of an extensive children’s programme during this month’s Featherston Booktown, a three-day celebration of all things to do with books and reading.

The fourth annual Booktown, which opens on Friday 11th May, has a special emphasis on encouraging children to let their imagination run wild and to pick up a book or a pencil. Of the 25 events being held over the three days, 10 are aimed at children or young adults and range from an illustrative monster workshop and hunt through to a teddy bear adventure drawing workshop.

There is also a contribution of a $15 voucher to all primary school students in Featherston that may then be used at any of the bookshops in Featherston with the aim to encourage reading as well as a children’s drawing competition promoted through local primary schools.

Featherston Booktown Patron, Ms Joy Cowley ONZ, world-famous children’s author and an active supporter of Featherston Booktown since its inception says it’s vital to keep children interested in reading.

“I’ve known of intelligent young adults who have failed tertiary education because they have not developed the necessary reading speed and comprehension,” she says. When children acquire a reading habit, they also gain a “reading fitness” important for their future.”

Programme Director, Vanessa-Jayne Hunt is proud this year’s book festival has such a diverse children focused programme.

“We are very excited about this year’s programme. Featherston Booktown 2018 has attracted some “must see” literary figures and some terrific new inclusions such as how to invest in literature and collect books. There is also emphasis on activities for the little ones to ignite their interest in the written word.”

She says having the Booktown Trust give every Featherston primary school child a $15 voucher redeemable at For the Love of Books, Featherston Ferret, Messines Bookshop, Loco Coffee & Books and Mr Feather’s Den is something very tangible for the community.

The fourth annual Featherston Booktown opens on Friday May 11th with the popular Fish ‘n’ Chip Supper at ‘Rose & Smith’ at the Tauherenikau Racecourse. This event includes an after-dinner speech by acclaimed writer and reviewer, Kate De Goldi who writes fiction for all ages.

The following two days will delight book-lovers with a wide variety of events presented by national and local literary personalities and an eclectic collection of second hand books will be for sale, in pride of place next to new book sellers.

View the full Featherston Booktown programme online at or email Tickets for Booktown will be onsale via

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