THE Riverside Centre in Newport provided the setting for the inaugural Isle of Wight Story Festival at the weekend.

The two-day event — tailored for children and families — attracted hundreds of attendees from both the Island and other parts of the UK, offering participants access to illustration, arts and crafts, theatre, puppet shows and live animal encounters.

Peta Rainford, of the festival's organising committee, said: “The festival went better than we dared to hope. The children were so enthusiastic about every session.

"All our performers did such a great job, the event was busy throughout and there was a real buzz.”

Children were inspired by a variety of notable and cherished illustrators from across the country, including Korky Paul, Nick Sharratt and author/illustrator Sarah McIntyre.

The IW Bat Hospital, Shadow Puppet Theatre company, Emergency Turtle and local author Kieran Larwood were among sessions to perform to sell-out crowds.

The event showcased a wealth of Island-based writers, illustrators and storytellers.

Workshops were guided by poet Adam Gaterell, illustrator/authors Jules Marriner, Zoe Sadler and Peta Rainford, authors Debbie Webb, Kate Rossati and Paul Barrett, and storytellers Sue Bailey and Paul Wilson of Sacred Isle.

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