DELIGHTED organisers of the third Keighley Children's Literature Festival say the event was a huge success.

More than 1,000 youngsters from primary schools across the town took part in the venture, held over two days at Keighley Library.

The initiative was spearheaded by Christina Gabbitas, founder of the charity Children’s Literature Festivals.

On the opening day, pupils joined in interactive 'read aloud' sessions with several award-winning authors and illustrators.

Ben Davis read excerpts from his acclaimed Lenny Lemon collection.

Yesmein Bagh Ali spoke about her story, The Lonely Chapatti – which starts with the cooking of unleavened breads on a Tandoor oven in Pakistan, and unfolds to tell the tale of a chapatti's journey to its ultimate destination. The book has been used for many years as a diversity teaching aid for young children.

Hilary Robinson discussed many of her stories, including the popular Ten Little Yoga Frogs.

Author and performer Oliver Sykes spoke about his work.

Plus, Christina herself was joined by British Sign Language-trained Danielle Tudor to teach children some lines from her Kindness poem.

On the second day, Communities Day, visiting children received a free book. In total, 250 books were given away.

Oliver performed a touring show based on his second children's book, Fishing for Rainbows, which is amongst contenders for the Children’s Literature Festivals Book Awards.

The Story Explorer book group, organised by Word Up North, engaged with years 4 to 7.

And Christina was available to chat about her work.

Visitors were able to learn more about a 'kindness competition' she has organised for primary school aged children.

As part of the contest, youngsters are invited to write about or illustrate what kindness means to them.

"It was heartening to witness so many schools embracing the kindness initiative," says Christina.

"I was delighted with the response to the event."

She thanked the library, Keighley Town Council and everyone who supported the festival.

Guests included Keighley MP Robbie Moore, who paid tribute to those involved.

He said: "It was fantastic to meet pupils who were taking part in a powerful interactive session with Christina.

"Her new book, Trapped In County Lines, is a must-read for parents and young people. It's an extremely important piece of work raising awareness about the issue of child criminal exploitation and county lines exploitation across our region.

"A huge 'thank you' goes to all involved in organising this fantastic festival."