The 12th annual Storyline' />

Not even fog grounding planes on Friday could derail the weekend finale of the "America's Cup of children's literature".

The 12th annual Storylines Festival, which started last Tuesday, involved 40 writers and illustrators and attracted about 60,000 people throughout the country, said the festival's director, Robin Houlker.

"It's about how important it is to provide opportunities for our children to be motivated about words, illustrating, books and literature.

"It's probably the largest literature festival in the world that is unique just for children ... It's the America's Cup of children's literature."

Yesterday marked the end of a week that included seminars and workshops in Northland, Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington and Christchurch.

Thousands of people flocked to Aotea Square for a free family day.

Activities included drawing competitions, puppet shows and storytelling from celebrities and writers such as Alison Mau, Tanya Batt and David Hill. Author Joy Cowley joined writer Jean Prior and illustrator Gavin Bishop for the launch of their book The Waka.

Ms Houlker said the weekend was wonderful despite fog threatening to ground the festival finale.

"I was in Christchurch on Friday morning and we were grounded because of the Auckland fog. I thought, 'I'm not going to be stranded here, I'm going to Wellington'.

"We had 12 writers and performers due and we had to try to get them to Wellington on Friday night [for its family day on Saturday], because it looked like the fog was going to threaten again the next morning.

"Not even the weather could stop this fantastic day for kids."