Derby Book Festival debut for kids’ favourite Laura

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Award-winning author, illustrator and artist Laura Wall will make her debut appearance at Derby Book Festival this June, thanks to a Derby company which is sponsoring Laura and her children’s creation Goose & Friends to help grow the brand within the UK and online worldwide.

Goose & Friends is now a series of 12 books for pre-school children – each taking the young reader on a fun journey with the lovable Goose character, his best friend Sophie and their pals as they discover the world around them.

The books are sold in 40 different countries and translated into more than ten languages. Bill Oddie has narrated six of the series and an animated pilot has been made and narrated by Dawn French with plans in the pipeline to make Goose & Friends into a television series.

Laura’s link to the city comes through award-winning Derby digital marketing agency Burnthebook in Pride Park, who are sponsoring three reading events as part of Derby Book Festival.

On Friday June 8, she will host Goose’s fifth birthday party at Déda in Chapel Street between 11.30am and 12.30pm. Families will meet the Goose walkabout character and then enjoy an interactive book read by Laura of Happy Birthday, Goose! followed by party games and Goose cupcakes.

This will be followed by an invitation-only reading event for 41 three-year-old children and their families at a city nursery school.

Children at both of these events will receive a free book and goodie bag provided by Burnthebook.

On Saturday June 9, Laura will read another of the stories, Wild Goose at Waterstones in St Peter’s Street at 10.30am and 11.30am. The free event will be followed by colouring activities and a book signing by Laura. Free Goose bookmarks, provided by Burnthebook, are now available at Waterstones in the run up to the event.

As well as sponsoring Laura’s events at Derby Book Festival, Burnthebook are helping to make Goose & Friends into a household name by creating her colourful website www.gooseandfriends.com to showcase Goose around the world with an online shop to sell the growing portfolio of fun books and merchandise.

Laura Wall explained: “I am so grateful to Burnthebook and was delighted when they opened the doors to Derby Book Festival – particularly as it coincides with Goose’s fifth birthday! I hope that the book readings and fun activities will bring the characters to life and encourage more pre-school children and their families to read together.

“Bringing the Goose character along always creates a real stir and there is nothing better than being surrounded by excited children who are eagerly awaiting the page to be turned and the story to unfold.”

Laura, 32, studied Fine Art at Aberystwyth University where she specialised in illustration and was set a children’s book writing challenge as an end of year project.

“I came up with the characters of Sophie and Goose largely because I am lucky to have a sister but I thought back to what I would have done and who I would have played with if I had been an only child.

“Goose is the perfect childhood friend. He is a loveable, likeable bird who is highly curious, somewhat clumsy and pretty silly but with a very big heart – making him the perfect companion to join on lots of adventures.”

For more information about Laura Wall’s involvement at Derby Book Festival, please visit www.derbybookfestival.co.uk

Details about Goose & Friends and Burnthebook’s other projects is available at www.burnthebook.co.uk