Bath Children’s Literature Festival 2021 Programme is here!

There’s something for everyone to do at this autumn’s Bath Children’s Literature Festival, which brings a host of writers and illustrators to the city for live, interactive events for young people of all ages.

There is something for. . .

Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, creator of the How to Train Your Dragon and Wizards of Once series, who will be spellbinding audiences on the magic of wizards and dragons. Families who look forward to the festival each year will be delighted to see superstar author-illustrator Liz Pichon returning to celebrate the tenth anniversary of her character Tom Gates. We will welcome back broadcasters and hilarious duo Chris Smith and Greg James who will share their new adventure The Great Dream Robbery. Expect brilliant entertainment from all! Irish comedian David O’Doherty will make a welcome return to the festival with his new novel, The Summer I Robbed a Bank.  Actor Stephen Mangan has teamed up with his illustrator sister Anita Mangan to create a fast-paced action novel for nine to 12-year-old readers. Escape the Rooms is described as ‘where The Crystal Maze meets Alice in Wonderland.’

Illustrators Steven Lenton (Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam series) and Dapo Adeola (Look Up! and Clean Up!) bring their new characters and drawings to Bath (Dapo has illustrated a new picture book by Malorie Blackman).#DrawWithRob internet sensation Rob Biddulph will lead a draw-along event for all the family inspired by his action-packed book Monster Madness and new middle grade adventure Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City.

Silliness and fun abound with the latest adventures of Supertato – Supertato: Night of the Living Veg brought to us by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet and Kristina Stephenson’s The Museum of Marvellous Things will be an inter-active theatrical show that will be enjoyed by children and their grown-ups too. Parents introducing their children to live book events will be delighted to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar story time and craft, while older children and young adults can listen to a groundbreaking playlist with a twist, exploring the History of Modern Black Britain in 28 Songs with teacher and music enthusiast Jeffrey Boakye. Joining the festival for the first time are sporting stars from Bath Rugby, bringing their energy and know-how to a fact-packed, fast-paced sporty event based on the book Rampaging Rugby – perfect for a rugby-loving city. Also for active kids is the nation’s favourite PE teacher and global fitness phenomenon Joe Wicks, the man who got so many families through the domestic incarceration of lockdown. His creations The Burpee Bears will spring to life through Joe’s own go-getting attitude. Be prepared to let off some steam with Joe!


Stuart Lawrence is the younger brother of Stephen Lawrence who was murdered in an unprovoked racist attack at the age of 18 in 1993. Now an educator and motivational speaker, Stuart aims to help young people harness the good in themselves and in the world around them, using the fire of positivity to create change and to realise that Silence is Not an Option. Naturalist, environmentalist and race activist Dr Mya-Rose Craig aka Birdgirl will be talking about Dream to Reality: Protecting the Planet, exploring how we can support the young people of colour demanding change to protect the world for the future. The festival reflects the interests and concerns of young people. Rashmi Sirdeshpande is a lawyer turned children’s writer who addresses the anxieties that children may have about the world in Good News: Why the World is Not as Bad as You Think, giving tips and advice on how to seek out positive facts and how to spot fake news

For the first time Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute in Queen Square, Bath, is playing a part in the children’s book festival. It will open its doors to families for a day-long series of drop-in sessions on Saturday 2 October, giving young paleontologists an opportunity to explore items from the institute’s globally renowned collections. And their Digital Discovery Trail will be running all week! There will also be a special book corner in The Forum Coffee House to drop into between events for book themed pop-up sessions.

Ian Stockley, CEO of Bath Festivals says: “Our programmers have read hundreds of books to select the most exciting and stimulating events for this year’s festival. Our aim, as always, is to entertain and enrich curious young minds. I for one can’t wait to hear the joyful sound of children’s laughter filling some of Bath’s biggest venues. It will also be interesting to be part of stimulating conversations around issues important to young adults.”

Whether your child loves the escapism of story-telling and magic, is hungry for facts, passionate about drawing or simply likes a giggle, you’ll find an event for them in this year’s programme. CLICK HERE to head to our What’s On page to discover the full programme.

Tickets go on general release on Friday 30 July. Members who sign up at are able to get priority booking from Tuesday 27 July, so sign up now to make sure you get tickets for the events you most want to take part in.

We are an arts charity and would like to thank our patrons, members and volunteers for their continued support as well as their sponsors and supporters Bath Spa University, Bath BID, Curo, Kingswood School Bath, Royal High School Bath, Novia, Rotork. This year Bath Children’s Literature Festival has collaborated with more partners than ever before including The Forum Bath, BRLSI, The Egg, Bath Rugby, First News, Radio Bath, The Bath & Wilts Parent Magazine, Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights and Bath Box Office.

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