And We’re Off! Bath Children’s Literature Festival Has Begun

And we’re off! The opening weekend of Bath Children’s Literature Festival got off to a flying start with star turns from some of our best loved authors and illustrators. We were so happy to open our doors to see young fans coming to hear writers talk live about their adventure stories, to lead interactive sessions and draw-alongs, to play silly games and run creative workshops.

During the first three days of the ten-day festival we saw best-selling writers including Michael Rosen, David Baddiel, Jacqueline Wilson, Dermot O’Leary, Cressida Cowell and Laura Ellen Anderson delighting their audience. Our festival bookseller, Mr B’s Emporium, set up a pop-up shop at The Guildhall so no young readers would miss out on getting the latest great reads at the events.

Over at The Egg Theatre, we had a two-day Happiness Hub, which proved popular with families popping in to be creative and celebrate what makes us happy. Among the free activities there was a story time session with real-life mermaid Hannah Pearl, who entertained children with a musical bubble dancing session as she stirred the bubbles through the air with her tail. How many book festivals can boast a resident mermaid?!

There was lots of fun and laughter. Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton ran a competitive silly game for families to play during their Shifty McGlifty and Slippery Sam themed event. Philip Ardagh has us putting on bunny ears for his side-splitting Bunnies on a Boat story time. Liz Fost brought Jill Murphy’s classic picture book Five Minutes Peace to life, with lots of elephant trumpeting from the audience.

Other events inspired our young readers. Cerrie Burnell’s life-affirming messages from her book I Am Not A Label brought smiles of recognition. Authors who stretch our imaginations and take us out of our everyday lives, Patrice Lawrence, Gareth P Jones, Kiran Millward Hargrave and Elle McNicoll, all came to see us in Bath.

The good times went on behind the scenes too as authors and illustrators gathered in the Green Room at the Guildhall. The festival provides a rare chance for these creative people to get together and organisers at Bath Festivals are always delighted at the sharing of ideas which goes on at this special time.

And the happiness spread from our venues in The Guildhall, The Forum, Bath Central Library, The Egg Theatre, The Holburne Museum and the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution out into the streets of Bath as word spread about the stories we have been sharing. Don’t forget, you can join us for another brilliant bookish weekend, this Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2, as more authors come to Bath for Europe’s biggest children’s literature festival. Tickets are available from,uk or tel: 01225 463362.

Between now and Saturday we’ll be welcoming literally hundreds of schoolchildren from Bath and beyond to our schools programme, which gives every child the chance to see an author at a live event. And under our Creative Learning programme we will be taking writers Benjamin Dean, Simon James Green, Angharad walker and Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem into local schools in the community to talk face-to-face with young people about the power that books and reading can bring to transform all our lives.

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