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Telling Tales in Balingup

Balingup transformed into a storybook world on the 9th and 10th July for the annual Telling Tales in Balingup event. Over 200 families from all over WA were treated to a wonderful weekend of children’s storytelling sessions, and workshops with WA authors and illustrators.

Published authors and illustrators including, Norman Jorgensen, Elaine Forrestal, Gabriel Evans, Cristy Burne, Josh Langley, Monique Mulligan and more all proved to be wonderful inspirations to children young and old. Authors read from their books and shared their experiences of how they get inspiration for their stores. They also shared their different experiences of the process involved in writing and publishing a children’s book.

Talented illustrator Gabriel Evans from Bridgetown, headed an impressive line-up of children’s story book illustrators. Their sessions had the children mesmerized, and inspired many to ‘give it a go themselves’.

A number of indigenous artists and story tellers joined the talented line-up this year with Beccy Garlett capturing the imagination and interest of big kids and small!

The Balingup Town Hall was a hive of activity with workshops in creative writing, kite making and book binding. Local story tellers took up residence in the cafés and other quaint and quirky venues throughout the town. They treated the children to May Gibbs, Roald Dahl, Dr Zuess and Rudyard Kipling.

A popular addition this year was the music writing session with Mary and Sarah Evans which explored story telling through song.

The main street was adorned with a host of new scarecrow characters, and these added vibrancy to this wonderful event! Many business owners dressed in character which certainly contributed to an atmosphere of fun – there’s certainly a disproportionate number of ‘big kids’ in Balingup and surrounds!

Saturday’s a procession of story book characters was a hit once again with the King & Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, Captain Hook and ‘Mary and her little lamb’ . . .yes a real lamb, and they all interacted and delighted children of all ages as they handed out jam tarts.

In its seventh year, Telling Tales in Balingup has established itself as an annual event with plans already underway for 2018. Festival organisers were thrilled with the response and next year’s event will include a ‘children’s writing competition’ and a children’s book launch.

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