Star authors head to city for World Book Day at Usher Hall

Trinity Primary School pupils Ella Rainey, Finlay Nairn, Lilia Addison, Bruno Gunson-Milne, Harris McDermott, May Gartward are taking part in the Guinness Book of World Records attempt. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Trinity Primary School pupils Ella Rainey, Finlay Nairn, Lilia Addison, Bruno Gunson-Milne, Harris McDermott, May Gartward are taking part in the Guinness Book of World Records attempt. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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STAR authors are set to appear at a huge event for 2000 children in Edinburgh to celebrate World Book Day next month.

The Biggest Book Show on Earth event is taking place in the Usher Hall on March 3, with children from all over the city given the chance to meet their favourite authors, listen to a variety of book readings and watch dazzling performances.

Among the most famous faces attending are Cressida Cowell, the author of How to Train Your Dragon and official 2016 World Book Day author.

She will joined by author and CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell, former stand-up comic Jonathan Meres and headliner David Baddiel.

Cowell said she was particularly looking forward to coming to Edinburgh as her books were inspired by her childhood summers spent in Scotland.

She said: “World Book Day is unique in its ability to get an actual book in the hands of readers who might never have owned one before, or stepped into a bookshop, or seen an author event.

“I am so thrilled to be part of The Biggest Book Show on Earth in Edinburgh, because the How to Train Your Dragon series was inspired by long summers I spent as a child on a remote island off the Scottish west coast.

“Scotland was the first place that the Vikings came to when they invaded Britain, and the last place they left, and Vikings believed in the existence of dragons.”

Organisers have said authors will do a book signing after the event that will allow the children to ask any questions.

Janet Smyth from the Edinburgh International Book Festival, who organised the event along with the director of World Book Day, Kirsten Grant, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event. It is a fantastic opportunity for us to welcome some of the leading writers and illustrators for children and to work with the many schools in and around Edinburgh who visit the Festival each August.

“There is no better way to celebrate the power of stories and the excitement sharing the stories brings to young readers, and it is a privilege to be a World Book Day partner.”

The event is touring the country but will appear in Edinburgh on World Book Day itself with city children attending through their schools.

courtney.cameron@edinburghnews.com