15 February 2021 Share
Barnes Children's Literature Festival brightens lockdown for families with free virtual pet parade during half term.
London's largest dedicated children's books event, Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, is getting ready to give families a fun break from lockdown with the launch of a new virtual event starring some of the UK's best known authors and their furry - and a few not so furry! - friends.
Superstar illustrators Axel Scheffler, Nick Sharratt and Emma Chichester Clark, Horrid Henry creator Francesca Simon, Costa Children's Book Award winners Hilary McKay, Natasha Farrant and Jasbinder Bilan and hilarious author-illustrator team Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve, are just a few of the big names who have offered to share the pets they love in the Barnes’ Pet Parade to be broadcast on the Festival's website from 10am on Saturday 20 February 2021.
Lydia Monks, the bestselling illustrator of What the Ladybird Heard and Princess Mirabelle books with Julia Donaldson and author and illustrator of many other much-loved classics, has designed a special logo for the event which nods to Judith Kerr's tea-drinking tiger, created by the beloved Barnes resident of more than sixty years.
Barnes’ Pet Parade follows on from the success of last year's At Home event when Barnes became the first children's literature festival to go virtual after the lockdown began, attracting more than 40,000 viewers from 46 countries.
'We're very proud that Barnes is organised by families for families and like everyone over the past year we've juggled working from home with caring for little ones and homeschooling. We were absolutely blown away by the response to our virtual Festival last year. With schools closed again and families doing such a wonderful job of staying at home, we want to continue to support them,’ said Amanda Brettargh. 'We love children's books in Barnes and if there's one thing we love just as much, it's our pets. Thanks to our amazing authors and illustrators we've got cats, dogs, chickens, fish, rabbits and guinea pigs galore and we hope this will give children something to look forward to over half term - a little ray of sunshine in our wonky world.’
Children will have the chance to win a box of books for their school by voting for their favourite pet who will be presented with the virtual 'Best In Show' badge after the event.
To watch the Barnes’ Pet Parade, please visit: www.barneskidslitfest.org/whats-on