Events > Launch Event

Record Breaking Launch for the DBA!

18 October 2017 View Event Photos

Our DBA launch event on 18th October was the biggest ever, with over 1500 children taking part in a fun-filled celebration of poetry, pictures and stories at the Doncaster Dome. As my committee colleagues and I gathered that morning to make the last-minute preparations in the huge hall, we were all really excited but probably a tiny bit nervous too! However we knew our special guests, the very funny poet Paul Cookson and former Children’s Laureate, author and illustrator Chris Riddell, not to mention the wonderful Talegate Theatre, would all be fantastic, and that we were in for a memorable day. As our lovely volunteers from the DWP began to show the arriving schools to their seats, the buzz of excitement and anticipation was at fever pitch!

Our Chair, Lesley, officially welcomed everyone, then James and the TalegateCompany got the event off to a ‘magical’ start. They put on a fabulous routine of song, dance and magic tricks (just possibly!) influenced by a certain boy wizard…….?? It was funny, loud and frenetic, and really set the scene for a celebration of the joy of reading. Next up was Phil with a quick run-through of the long-list books to whet the appetite of our young readers and show them the great titles on offer this year.

Poet Paul Cookson then took to the stage. A brilliant performer, he immediately had the huge audience on side by ‘allowing’ them to choose which type of poetry they wanted to hear. He explained that he had written many poetry books and had in fact prepared two sets of poems to perform – they could either choose a set of poems about flowers and nature and unicorns, or instead a set of funny poems with lots of rude words! No prizes for guessing that the second option had hundreds of hands up in an instant!! Audience participation was very much the theme of Paul’s performance and we all (teachers included at Paul’s insistence!) enthusiastically shouted out responses and did all the actions to poems about a toilet seat with teeth, a non-uniform day with a twist, a scary dinner lady and a sneaky, soft-shoed teacher. It was raucous and great fun and the kids absolutely loved it. Paul also announced this year’s poetry competition and I am sure that he has inspired many of the children there to have a go and create fabulous poems of their own.

After a break for lunch, Lesley then welcomed the wonderful Chris Riddell onto the stage to talk about his books and to demonstrate his truly amazing artistic talent. At the start of Chris’ talk Paul joined him on stage to reprise some of his poetry from the morning session. As he performed each poem, Chris spontaneously and seemingly effortlessly illustrated them with a series of wonderful drawings, capturing the mood perfectly each time. It was a joy to watch.

As Paul left the stage, Chris began to speak about his love of illustration and the enjoyment he gets from creating his characters and putting lots of pictures in his books. He had brought along a copy of his latest Goth Girl book, Goth Girl and the Sinister Symphony, from which he read a short extract. He showed a picture of Ada, the heroine of the series, describing how he created Ada’s world, the wonderful Ghastly GormHall and its cast of very eccentric characters. He delighted in showing off the book’s gorgeous shiny cover, gleaming end papers, zombie-green edging and the mini-book tucked inside the back cover, mentioning these several times and making his audience laugh. They were gripped as Chris went on to speak about his time as Children’s Laureate, travelling the world and attending all sorts of book events where he was sometimes asked some very odd questions by the public! He even spoke about his dog, Ruby, the not-so-sweet Jack Russell, while all the time drawing amazing pictures to illustrate his words.

Lesley drew the event itself to a close with a special presentation to Chris of a wonderful ceramic sofa with his most popular characters seated on it. However the fun went on for some time out in the foyer as hundreds of children excitedly posed for photos on our fabulous Big Red Sofa, kindly loaned once again by DFS, and queued for book signings and to say hello to Chris and Paul.

The biggest-ever DBA launch was a great success and the committee would like to thank our fantastic volunteers, the supporters from the public library staff, DFS and all our guests who helped to make the day so special.

We are looking forward to lots more fun and exctiting events throughout the year.

Lyn Hopson

Secretary, Doncaster Book Awards.

Photos from the Event

Morning AudienceMorning Audience Castle Hills Primary and the Big Red SofaCastle Hills Primary and the Big Red Sofa Chris Riddell starts another sketchChris Riddell starts another sketch Owston Park Primary and the Big Red SofaOwston Park Primary and the Big Red Sofa Southfield Tranmoor and the Big Red SofaSouthfield Tranmoor and the Big Red Sofa Talegate Theatre and the Big Red SofaTalegate Theatre and the Big Red Sofa Chris Riddell accepting his prize for winning 2 years agoChris Riddell accepting his prize for winning 2 years ago Pheasand Bank Academy (Group 5) and the Big Red SofaPheasand Bank Academy (Group 5) and the Big Red Sofa MorningMorning Healing Academy and the Big Red SofaHealing Academy and the Big Red Sofa Hungerhill Academy and the Big Red SofaHungerhill Academy and the Big Red Sofa Montagu Academy and the Big Red SofaMontagu Academy and the Big Red Sofa DWP Community 10K Volunteers provided invaluable assistance organising the dayDWP Community 10K Volunteers provided invaluable assistance organising the day Our Lady Of Perpetual Help Primary and the Big Red SofaOur Lady Of Perpetual Help Primary and the Big Red Sofa Morley Place Academy and the Big Red SofaMorley Place Academy and the Big Red Sofa Talegate on StageTalegate on Stage Paul CooksonPaul Cookson Chris RiddellChris Riddell Healing Academy with Paul Cookson and the Big Red SofaHealing Academy with Paul Cookson and the Big Red Sofa Signing QueueSigning Queue Morning AudienceMorning Audience Talegate on StageTalegate on Stage Paul Cookson with DBA schools and home educators coordinator LynnePaul Cookson with DBA schools and home educators coordinator Lynne Morning AudienceMorning Audience Paul CooksonPaul Cookson Saltersgate Juniors and the Big Red SofaSaltersgate Juniors and the Big Red Sofa Talegate on StageTalegate on Stage Talegate on StageTalegate on Stage Talegate on StageTalegate on Stage Our Lady of Perpetual Help Primary and the Big Red SofaOur Lady of Perpetual Help Primary and the Big Red Sofa Afternoon AudienceAfternoon Audience Paul CooksonPaul Cookson Afternoon AudienceAfternoon Audience Chris Riddell with his prizeChris Riddell with his prize Home Educators and the Big Red SofaHome Educators and the Big Red Sofa Signing QueueSigning Queue DBA committee members Hannah and LynneDBA committee members Hannah and Lynne Chris Riddell showing off his prize for winning 2 years agoChris Riddell showing off his prize for winning 2 years ago Paul Cookson, Talegate Theatre and some excited childrenPaul Cookson, Talegate Theatre and some excited children Afternoon AudienceAfternoon Audience Talegate on StageTalegate on Stage Mexborough Academy and the Big Red SofaMexborough Academy and the Big Red Sofa De Warenne Academy and the Big Red SofaDe Warenne Academy and the Big Red Sofa Talegate on StageTalegate on Stage Chris RiddellChris Riddell Stone Hill School and the Big Red SofaStone Hill School and the Big Red Sofa DBA Committee: Back Row, Lesley and Paul. Front Row, Lynne, Hannah, Leilah, Paul Cookson, Chris Riddell, Lyn and PhilDBA Committee: Back Row, Lesley and Paul. Front Row, Lynne, Hannah, Leilah, Paul Cookson, Chris Riddell, Lyn and Phil Talegate Theatre and the Big Red SofaTalegate Theatre and the Big Red Sofa Paul Cookson with DBA schools and home educators coordinator LynnePaul Cookson with DBA schools and home educators coordinator Lynne Barnby Dun Primary and the Big Red SofaBarnby Dun Primary and the Big Red Sofa Afternoon signing queueAfternoon signing queue Afternoon AudienceAfternoon Audience DBA Committee member Paul ready for the throngsDBA Committee member Paul ready for the throngs Montagu Academy and the Big Red SofaMontagu Academy and the Big Red Sofa DWP Community 10K volunteers provided invaluable assistance organising the dayDWP Community 10K volunteers provided invaluable assistance organising the day Morning AudienceMorning Audience Paul CooksonPaul Cookson Castle Hills Primary and the Big Red SofaCastle Hills Primary and the Big Red Sofa Edenthorpe Hall Academy and the Big Red SofaEdenthorpe Hall Academy and the Big Red Sofa Bessacarr Primary and the Big Red SofaBessacarr Primary and the Big Red Sofa Chris RiddellChris Riddell Edenthorpe Hall Academy and the Big Red SofaEdenthorpe Hall Academy and the Big Red Sofa Pheasant Bank Academy (Group !) and the Big Red SofaPheasant Bank Academy (Group !) and the Big Red Sofa Full Sofa!Full Sofa! Morning AudienceMorning Audience Signing QueueSigning Queue St Joseph and St Theresa Primary and the Big Red SofaSt Joseph and St Theresa Primary and the Big Red Sofa Paul CooksonPaul Cookson DBA Treasurer Phil telling all about competitionsDBA Treasurer Phil telling all about competitions Chris RiddellChris Riddell DBA committee member Paul and the throngsDBA committee member Paul and the throngs Mexborough St John the Baptist School and the Big Red SofaMexborough St John the Baptist School and the Big Red Sofa Bessacarr Primary and the Big Red SofaBessacarr Primary and the Big Red Sofa Talegate Theatre and the Big Red SofaTalegate Theatre and the Big Red Sofa Talegate on StageTalegate on Stage DBA tresurer Phil telling all about the reading championsDBA tresurer Phil telling all about the reading champions Thorne Brooke Marshland Primary and the Big Red SofaThorne Brooke Marshland Primary and the Big Red Sofa Talegate on StageTalegate on Stage DBA Chair Lesley surveying the morning's crowdDBA Chair Lesley surveying the morning's crowd Pheasant Bank Academy (Group 3) and the Big Red SofaPheasant Bank Academy (Group 3) and the Big Red Sofa Paul CooksonPaul Cookson Talegate on StageTalegate on Stage Talegate on StageTalegate on Stage Morning AudienceMorning Audience Pheasant Bank Academy (Group 4) and the Big Red SofaPheasant Bank Academy (Group 4) and the Big Red Sofa Afternoon CrowdAfternoon Crowd Morning AudienceMorning Audience Chris RiddellChris Riddell Pheasant Bank Academy (Group 2) and the Big Red SofaPheasant Bank Academy (Group 2) and the Big Red Sofa The Big Red Sofa kindly provided by DFS!The Big Red Sofa kindly provided by DFS! DBA Treasurer Phil hints...DBA Treasurer Phil hints... Chris RiddellChris Riddell
 

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