Turn the Page came about when local children’s author Peter Bently and Nikki Marsh, who worked at the national literature charity Booktrust for 10 years, discovered they had both thought it would be good to have a children’s book day in Totnes. So in 2015 they organised it and enlisted support from local poet Matt Harvey.
Nikki Marsh – Organiser
Nikki worked at the literature charity Book Trust for 10 years. She managed projects aimed at encouraging children to love reading including the Children’s Laureate, book gift programmes for primary and secondary school pupils, and the Best New Illustrators award. She worked with the major children’s literature festivals including Edinburgh, Bath, Hay and Cheltenham. She is a member of the UK IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) committee.
Peter Bently is the prizewinning author of many picture books, including The Great Dog Bottom Swap, King Jack and the Dragon, and Cats Ahoy! (which won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2011) as well the Vampire School and Knightmare! series of young fiction. The Prince and the Porker is his second picture book with illustrator David Roberts. Peter has appeared at major book festivals including Edinburgh, Hay and Bath. He is delighted to support the first children’s book day in Totnes, where he lives with his wife and two children.
Matt Harvey has lived in Totnes for over thirty years. His sons Finn and Tom go to school here. Beastie and the Boys, illustrated by Chloe Uden, is his second picture book. Matt has also written lyrics for The Songbook of Unsingable Songs (Stephen Deazley) and, with Thomas Hewitt Jones, a musical of Rumpelstiltskin.
Tom Blaker – Web Development, Graphic Design
Tom graduated with a fine art degree in 2005, focusing on writing, painting and digital art. Since then, he has taken an Open University course in web development and begun a career as a freelance designer and developer. Over the past decade, Tom has worked with a diverse portfolio of clients from town councils to arctic adventurers. Tom has two young children who are both very much looking forward to coming to Turn the Page again!
Federation of Children’s Book Groups
The Federation is a national voluntary group which aims to promote enjoyment of and interest in children’s books and reading. Members are parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians who are passionate about finding out and sharing knowledge of the best children’s books.
The local group is Plymouth: we are supporting Turn the Page. We organize story times, author suppers and events and take part in the Federation’s annual Children’s Book Award where children do all the reading and voting.