Families will have the opportunity to enjoy a fun and diverse programme of events and activities as a popular children’s book festival returns to Stirling next week.

Organised by Stirling Council’s Libraries Service, ‘smallprint’ is a three-day celebration of children’s literature day that gets underway on World Book Day (Thursday 3 March).

Visits to schools from some top children’s authors, a hands-on digital event, fun-filled creative workshops, pre-recorded virtual stories and Bookbug live sessions all feature in this year’s exciting programme.

The festival was entirely online last year due to the pandemic but the easing of restrictions means a welcome return to some in-person events alongside the digital offerings.

Exciting programme

Convener of Stirling Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, Cllr Chris Kane said: “Smallprint has proved hugely popular with families since it launched three years ago and I’m sure this year will be no different with an exciting programme of free events and activities that will appeal to children of all ages.

“Last year we held a fully virtual festival due to the Covid restrictions at that time and, while it was still a great success, I’m delighted families will be able to enjoy some events in-person again this year.”

The in-person events include a digital takeover at Bannockburn Library with fun drop-in activities including Lego animation, VR art, 3D printing and gadget making, along with a visit from children’s author Jo Hall to St Ninians Library, who will share the ‘idea sets’ she created for her character JoJo Gnome.

Among the digital activities is an online workshop with Stirling’s award-winning Makar Laura Fyfe, who will encourage children to find their poem in the same way she does: from the sparkly glimmers of inspiration we have around us all the time.

Each day will end with a bedtime story at 7pm on Facebook.

Fantastic opportunity

Vice Convener, Cllr Scott Farmer said: “Smallprint has been a superb addition to Stirling’s packed and varied events calendar, and there’s something for all the family to enjoy in this year’s programme from interactive workshops involving gadgets and digital tech, to entertaining talks from children’s authors. 

"We know the pandemic has been particularly tough on children and this festival is a fantastic opportunity for them to escape into the magic of books, have some fun and develop important reading skills.”

Author visits to schools are for an invited audience only. Others are bookable on www.YourStirling.com and all are free of charge.

The festival will take place just a few weeks before Stirling finds out if has been shortlisted for UK City of Culture 2025 by The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, with the winner set to be declared in May 2022.

Improve access to cultural experiences

Cllr Kane added: “This fun-filled family book festival is a great example of how we are working to improve access to cultural experiences to everyone across Stirling and why we are in the running for UK City of Culture 2025.

"We have a belief and a desire to do so much more, though, and securing UK City of Culture status will help us to build on success stories like smallprint to improve the lives of people who live here."

Back Stirling’s bid at www.Stirling2025.com and share your support on social media with the hashtag #Stirling2025

Picture details and further info:

Main Picture shows Stirling Council Libraries staff along with Councillors Kane and Farmer (holding banner) at Stirling’s Central Library. 

More information on smallprint, including the link to book events, can also be found here

Smallprint Childrens Book Festival - Stirling Council