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Children going ‘Bonkers’ for literature festival

William Whitaker, managing director of Whitakers Chocolates and Trevor Wilson from the Broughton Hall Children's Literature Festival with young book lovers

A Yorkshire-based chocolate factory has added a touch of magic to the county’s first Children’s Literature Festival at Broughton Hall in Skipton.

Taking inspiration from the famous Roald Dahl book ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, Whitakers Chocolates has teamed up with the Silsden-based festival organiser, Authors Abroad, to create 500 ticket-winning chocolate bars to gain free entry to the event.

Whitakers Chocolates, a Skipton-based chocolate manufacturer, is producing over 20,000 bespoke ‘Billy Bonkers’ bars in celebration of the festival. The milk chocolate bars will be available in local supermarkets such as Booths, Sainsburys, Tesco, Keelham’s Farm Shops, Waitrose, Co-op and Asda.

Five hundred special Bonkers bars will contain golden entry tickets and the lucky winners will be granted a free pass to an event of their choice at the festival on 29 and 30 September.

Managing director at Whitakers Chocolates, William Whitaker, said: “We’re thrilled to have joined forces with the Children’s Literature Festival – it’s fantastic to be part of such a great event which will inspire children across the county to embrace and enjoy the written word. We hope that our Billy Bonkers bars competition encourages young people to get involved with the festival and will strengthen their enthusiasm for literature.”

The Children’s Literature Festival expects to attract more than 400,000 children to see authors including Clare Balding, Chris Bradford and Maya G. Leonard alongside poets, illustrators and animators. The festival will raise money for The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, a mental health charity which works in schools to combat issues such as cyber bullying.

Trevor Wilson, managing director of Authors Abroad, explained: “Whitakers is world-renowned for its quality and variety of chocolate so it’s fantastic to have the team on board, supporting our local festival. We’re passionate about boosting young people’s interest in literature and think the excitement and anticipation of emulating a children’s literary classic by finding a winning ticket inside our “Bonkers” Whitakers chocolate bar is a perfect way to get children engaged before the festival even begins!”