A three day literary wonderland will descend on the banks of the River Thames from 18 October, where some of the nation’s best-loved authors will transport families to a magical world of stories to mark Read for RNIB Day.

Authors and celebrities including TV presenter and children’s author Jason Bradbury, children’s author Sally Gardner, author of the Monstrous Maud books, A. B. Saddlewick and CBBC presenter Ben Hanlin will be joining activities throughout the three days to host reading workshops designed to help children discover the thrill of reading and encouraging them to read aloud.

Actor Michael Sheen OBE has recorded quotes from well known children’s books which will be played at the event. He said: “Reading and stories are such an important part of childhood; they’re what inspired me to write. It’s terrible to think that some people are denied this because they can’t see. I heard about RNIB’s work and wanted to get involved in Read for RNIB Day. We hope to inspire and encourage people to read and get involved in the campaign which raises funds for services such as RNIB’s National Library Service which offers books in alternative formats to blind and partially sighted people.”

New research found that only seven per cent of books are accessible to almost 2 million blind and partially sighted people in the UK. This is something the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) is set on changing. To highlight the importance of reading, RNIB will host a literary wonderland packed with things for children to see, touch, smell and hear, bringing the magic of reading to life.

Decorated with imagery from Alice in Wonderland, the area will be divided into five distinct sections, each designed for families to get stuck in, have fun, learn about Read for RNIB Day and perhaps go on to host their own literary event. Starting with ‘falling’ through the rabbit hole just like Alice, guests will be able to sit in the enchanting Mad Hatter’s story corner and listen to well-known children’s tales or visit the forest of talking mushrooms to hear quotes from familiar novels. Unusual treats featured in famous children’s stories will be on offer or children can help bring words to life through touch. Books, including signed copies, will also be available to purchase with all proceeds donated to the charity.

RNIB’s literary wonderland is free. Open 18 to 20 October 2012, 9am to 6pm. Cathedral Square, Hibernia Wharf, London Bridge, London SE1 9DA.

For more information visit www.readforrnib.org.uk or call 0845 345 0054.

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