Reading is Magic Festival is back!
Joining the free and inclusive programme in 2021 is Michael Rosen, author of many children’s favourites including We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. The former Waterstones Children’s Laureate creates author events which are loved by children and parents alike. Also bringing inter-active events to the festival are illustrator Rob Biddulph, the artist behind the online hit Draw With Rob, Laura Ellen Anderson, illustrator and creator of Amelia Fang and Frank Cottrell Boyce, author of laugh-out-loud books for children, including Millions and who worked with Danny Boyle to write the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.
We will also have talks from YA authors Holly Bourne and Will Sutcliffe (whose book Whatever Makes You Happy became a hit Netflix film Otherhood), graphic novelist Alice Oseman, poet Rebecca Tantony and US middle grade author BB Alston, creator of Amari and the Night Brothers. There will hands-on projects to do at home or in the classroom, draw-alongs and plenty of inspiration to get children reading and writing.
Over the five days, from Monday 27 September to Friday 1 October, different themes from Cressida Cowell’s Waterstones Children’s Laureate Charter will be discussed. These range from empowering children to play their part in looking after the area where they live, to opening discussions about issues facing LGBTQ+ and disabled people as well as the power of friendship. There will be events that encourage creativity in words and pictures and others to make young people think about what they want from books and relationships.
“Every child has the right to…”
Monday “…be creative for at least 15 minutes a week”
Tuesday “…have a planet to read on”
Wednesday “…see themselves reflected in a book”
Thursday “…have some choice in what they read”
Friday …read for the joy of it
As with last year’s festival we have teamed up with festival partners in different parts of the world, with events coming from Kingston in Jamaica, Toronto and Dublin, among others. The partnership of festivals and programmers is made up of Bath Children’s Literature Festival, Boswell Book Festival, Bradford Literature Festival, Kingston Book Festival, the Irish Children’s Laureate, New Dutch Writing, Seven Stories, Toronto International Festival of Authors and Wigtown Book Festival.
“We loved all the different videos aimed at different year groups this meant the whole school could participate. We created a Reading is Magic corridor full of potions for the perfect book, a big display on how we can save the Earth, magical vocabulary artwork taken from our favourite magical stories, Reception even managed to draw illustrations from their favourite books!” – Feedback from a teacher whose school was involved in the 2020 festival.
“Sharing is at the heart of the Reading is Magic Festival and sharing stories has never been more important. It was an absolute pleasure to be asked to produce an online event for the Borders Book Festival, in the hope of reaching out to entertain and inspire families at home. How utterly amazing then to have that reach extended nationally and internationally by the genius concept of a shared festival platform. To be afforded the opportunity to introduce my books to so many new readers in this way has been a privilege. In the true spirit of sharing, the Reading is Magic Festival is magic indeed!” author-illustrator Kristina Stephenson.
Thank you to our supporters Ballie Gifford, to our sponsors Kingswood School and Novia, to our media partners Fun Kids Radio and First News and to our accessibility partners Calibre Audio for their continued support.
Find out more and sign up to updates at www.readingsismagicfestival.com