Malta Book Festival put emphasis on child-friendly activities

This year's Malta Book Festival will provide age-appropriate learning activities for children revolving around books and reading

This year's Malta Book Festival will feature activities specifically tailored for children, the National Book Council said.

The Malta Book Festival, which will take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta from 6 to 10 November, will adhere to a “philosophy that provides age-appropriate learning activities for children revolving around books and reading," as well as focus on ways to make reading enjoyable and relatable to children.

The National Book Council said that the projected number of families attending the festival highlighted an increased interest among younger audiences, which was a direct result of the commitment it had made to promote a culture of reading as well as a “love for books among children and teenagers.”

“The Malta Book Festival is a platform for publishers and authors specialising in children’s books, which the Malta Book Festival will be increasingly promoting,” the council said. Each student attending the festival in the morning on weekends would be able to browse through books, as well as buy them with a €3 voucher, provided by the council itself. 

The festival will also feature performances at Republic Hall by Antonella Axisa. Where Axisa along with her troupe of actors will be enacting the stories from last year’s Terramaxka Prize-winning books, namely Mamà, allura din imħabba? by Moira Scicluna Zahra and Mark Scicluna and Jarmuk by Stephen Lughermo

“The two performances will be catering for different age cohorts. Schools across Malta and Gozo are encouraged to book a slot for their students to visit the Malta Book Festival 2019.”

The festival will also see a special performance by the Irish actor and writer Dave Rudden. Rudden will perform a standup comedy act, coupled with educational material related to tips on how to get students to write. “Children can expect inspirational stories, readings and a ton of sound effects.”

The council said that encouraging reading only enhanced reading skills, but also made children conscious of their own skills, instilling a sense of confidence in readers. An activity that specifically targets this is the Reading Champions, which the council said would celebrate year eight students who are already ardent readers, as well as others who wish to improve their skills, along with students who have inspired others to read. 

“Another event not to be missed is the show by DANUSAN, ‘Il-Kotba Jieħdu l-Ħajja’. The shows will be based on this year’s Terramaxka winning books, announced on the opening night of the Festival. The 1 hour and 30-minute shows are excellent for families with children and DANUSAN will be showing the importance of reading in their own hilarious way.”

The show will be held on 8 November at 7pm, 9 November at 8 and 10 November at 3pm. For more information, one can visit www.showshappening.com

Alternatively, various book launches for children, reading, storytelling and workshops will take place in various locations, including Merlin Publishers, Faraxa Publishing, Malta Libraries, German-Maltese Circle and more.

The council said it urged parents, guardians and teachers to view or download the full programme of events which can be found at www.ktieb.org.mt/.

Families also have the opportunity to travel to the festival “hassle-free,” with a free shuttle service, that will be available all day, every 30 minutes, to and from Bay A, at the bus terminus in Valletta to the MCC. The service is free of charge, and for the first time will be operating every day from 6 November until the end of the festival

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