PUPILS from across the Borders were brought to book last week with the biggest and best Book Festival Schools Gala Day to date.

For the past 13 years the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival has staged a series of special events aimed at children of all ages.

And yet again last week several top authors and illustrators were on hand to inspire and entertain more than 1,100 young readers from local schools and nurseries in Galashiels.

Book Festival director Paula Ogilvie was thrilled with the 2019 CGI Schools Gala Day.

She told us: "It exceeded all expectations, and we were delighted to welcome groups from Selkirk, Lauder, Eddleston, Galashiels, Ancrum and many other parts of the Scottish Borders for a special day filled with imagination and magic.

"The festival aims to promote creative learning and hopefully this year’s events will have encouraged our young audiences to develop a love for reading for pleasure, and above all, to have fun with words.

"Roll on 2020, when we take the celebration of words on the road!”

Master storytellers Kristina Stephenson, Alex T Smith, Vivian French, Jill Calder, Gill Arbuthnott, Justin Davies, Anders Frang and Macastory took their audiences in both the Volunteer Hall and MacArts centre on a deep sea adventure, to the moon, and into worlds packed with captivating stories and characters.

The Schools Gala Day wass sponsored for the first time this year by education information technology specialists CGI, a company with a worldwide reach and with a base the Scottish Borders.

This year’s collaboration is part of an ongoing partnership between CGI and the book festival, with plans for future schools events to be presented in towns across the region to reflect the festival’s ongoing commitment to literature, creativity and participation within the wider community.

Steve Smart, CGI Senior Vice President for Scotland, said: "We hope that our innovative relationships with Scottish Borders schools will be strengthened by our involvement in this event as part of our on-going commitment to education and the young people in the region.

"CGI very much enjoyed welcoming pupils along for a memorable day of education and entertainment.”

Other funders and supporters of educational activities within the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival 2019 include Creative Scotland, Scottish Borders Council, National Library of Scotland and Live Borders.

The Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival will return to Melrose next June.