AUTHOR-illustrator Clare Beaton entertained more than 20 pre-school children at St Mary's Church Hall in a ground-breaking event for the Appledore Book Festival's Schools Programme.
It was the first time in the seven-year history of the festival that children of this age group had been involved in the programme.
Clare, whose fabric pictures, board books and other work have been animated for a series of TV ads in America, said: "With the popularity of literary festivals people are saying: 'What about the children? They're getting left out and they are the readers of tomorrow.' Libraries are so important too, so it's brilliant that more people like me are being invited to come along to an event like this."
Parents and children from the Poppins Parent and Toddler group, the Appledore Baptist Toddler group and the Beehive group attended the workshop.
Schools Programme joint-coordinator Janet Fisher said: "This event was a first for us – and a very special moment."
Tickets for the main festival, which runs from September 27 to October 6, are on sale at the festival's box office at Docton Court Gallery, 2, Myrtle Street, Appledore, EX39 1PH. Call 01237 424949 or visit www.apple dorebookfestival.co.uk.