Reading Pictures: Seeing Stories in North Yorkshire libraries

This story was published 29 March 2022

Every picture tells a story… and North Yorkshire libraries are proving just that!

Wendi New

During April and May, the county’s public library service will take part in a regional festival called Reading Pictures: Seeing Stories. It’s a celebration of children’s book illustration, comic and visual art and will be delivered through a series of events and workshops.

Chrys Mellor, Library Service General Manager, said: “The pandemic has had a dramatic effect on literacy and how children and young people access reading and creative resources.

“At North Yorkshire libraries, we want to help to address this and nurture a love of reading for pleasure. The festival will include a mixture of digital and live events across the region using imaginative, innovative approaches. Young people will be able to work alongside artists and illustrators and explore new creative processes.”

The festival will have its official launch at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford on 6 April. It has been organised by the Yorkshire and the Humber branch of the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL), supported by Arts Council funding.

On 21 April, families can learn a new skill and take part in print-making at Malton library with artists Rachel Richardson and Tracey Noble. Rachel and Tracey will help youngsters to bring their own stories to life through these hands-on workshops. A photobook will be made at the sessions and will be displayed at the library afterwards to share the wonderful work created. Places must be booked. Contact Malton Library at or telephone 01609 534558.

During the Easter holidays, children will be able to try their hand at comic creation at a number of libraries with cartoonist Wendi New. Booking is essential – please contact the relevant library. The events will be at:

Design and print workshops are also on offer at Knaresborough and Bentham community libraries with artist Lana Grindley. Lana has vast experience working with people with autism and learning disabilities and has delivered many community workshops. Book via Eventbrite for Lana’s events:

During April and May, North Yorkshire libraries will also host several events with local school groups. There will be fun, informative Horrible Science illustration workshops in Scarborough and Filey, led by bestselling artist Tony De Saulles.

On the 50th anniversary of Ted Hughes’ classic, The Iron Man, Chris Mould will bring new readers to this much-loved text through reading extracts and demonstrating drawing in action to Harrogate and Skipton school children.

A monochrome drawing workshop based on the sensitive and topical book, My Name is not Refugee, will be led by artist Kate Milner at Northallerton library and the Globe Community Library in Stokesley.

Throughout the festival, libraries will share a fun-filled online drawing workshop with children’s author and illustrator Liz Million, featuring a troll, wolf and ninja pig! This can be accessed through home devices or library computers via the Libraries YouTube channel.

Chrys Mellor added: “Libraries are free to join for all the family, so if you’re not a member pop into your local library to see what’s on offer during the festival.”