Creaky Knees, a giant bee and a Gruffalo roaming the town ... it can only be the return of the annual children’s book festival to St Ives.

Book Jam will be back at the Corn Exchange on Saturday, June 7, ­celebrating all that is wonderful about children's books, giving youngsters the opportunity to meet the authors and illustrators and get creative themselves.

Running from 9.30am-4.30pm, the third Book Jam includes a selection of readings, demonstrations and ­workshops as well as a play - The Hare and The Tortoise - a colouring corner, badge making, books for sale and a soft play areas ... and it's all free.

The organisers ACE - Friends of St Ives Corn Exchange - have also invited some special guests to take part, ­including pirates, the Gruffalo and the festival's own mascot, Bumble Bookjam.

Sponsored by St Ives-based Move with Us and supported by The Hunts Post, the Book Jam will also give youngsters the opportunity to join ­illustrator Pam Smy, who has drawn for Julia Donaldson, as she creates a mural.

The programme of workshops includes authors Tim Collins (Cosmic Colin stories); Dave Shelton (A Boy and a Bear in a Boat); Clementine Beauvais (Sesame Seade mysteries); Elys Dolan (Weasels) and Andy Hawkins (Creaky Knee Stories) as well as illustrators Nicola Killen (Fluff and Billy Do Everything Together) and Marion Lindsay (Ready Steady Ghost! and Ping!).

Marion Savill will lead a craft workshop based on the best-selling story Handa's Surprise, by Eileen Browne, and St Ivo School students will be running a workshop bringing poetry to life for younger readers.

A spokesman for ACE said: "Book Jam 2012 and 2013 were such a ­phenomenal success that organisers ACE - Friends of St Ives Corn Exchange are so pleased to be able to bring this event back to the town for the third year, thanks to the sponsorship of Move with Us.

"Our free workshops offer a wonderful opportunity for children to work with published authors and illustrators but it's important to book a place early."

INFORMATION: To find out more about the workshops, or to register, email Ros Pascoe bumble.bookjam@btinternet.com or call 01480 467094. The Aesop Theatre Company's Hare and The Tortoise runs from noon-12.45pm in the Charter Hall at the Corn Exchange.