Guest blog on Jason Beresford’s recent visit to The Rainbow Factory, Leeds

The Rainbow Factory is an exciting new play destination aimed at children up to around the age of 10, which aims to inspire a new generation with a love of reading.
The only attraction of its kind in the north, it brings classic and modern storybooks to life through fun-filled activities and beautiful, unique handmade models.
Enthusiastic staff encourage creativity through arts and crafts and mini performances on stage and bring books to life by making them an interactive experience, where children become the characters and truly experience the stories.
Jason Beresford’s visit:
If you’d arrived at the end, you could have been forgiven for thinking you had walked into a Tom Jones gig.

 The audience was singing along enthusiastically with a bloke on stage and waving dozens of pairs of pants in the air.

 But this was no music concert, this was the Rainbow Factory’s very first Meet the Author session.

Around 100 visitors crowded around our Beanstalk Stage (October 28) to watch multi-talented Leeds teacher Jason Beresford bring his stories to life with enviable energy.

 The dad-of-two, who has directed Emmerdale and Coronation Street and produced many other TV shows, is the author of The Fabulous Four Fish Fingers and Frozen Fish Fingers - two laugh-out-loud books about a gang of superhero kids.

 As well as giggling at his performance, featuring funny walks and an array of accents and facial expressions, youngsters were thrilled by his description of the “panteater” - a villainous anteater who is allergic to ants so dines on pants instead.

 And they couldn’t wait to get on stage for a bit of drama, with four volunteers picked to take on the characters of his four young heroes.

 It felt more like a panto than a traditional book reading: the perfect demonstration of how much joy books can bring - that reading can make you laugh out loud, it is not just about lessons and tests.

 And that’s the message we aim to convey every day, finding innovative ways to explore books - from dynamic storytelling to games, art, drama and crafts.

 For the youngsters who were able to chat to Jason about this work and ask him to sign their books, it was a fairytale ending.

 As for the staff, well, we didn’t expect to see pants flying through the air but in a world where books are your passion, authors are your rock stars - so perhaps it’s not such a strange plot twist after all!

 *This activity did not involve anyone getting undressed! The crazy collection of undies was supplied by the author!

 *Please check The Rainbow Factory website for forthcoming Meet the Author sessions.

Many thanks to Debbie Newman, Communications Manager at The Rainbow Factory for her guest blog. 

Jason’s visit was organised by Book Events for Schools. If you’d be interested in Jason Beresford visiting your school and enthusing your pupils abour reading, please contact Clare at Book Events for Schools on

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