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Barnes Children's Literature Festival

Barnes Children’s Literature Festival

London's largest dedicated children's literature festival returns to Barnes on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May 2018, attracting some of the UK's best authors and illustrators to the capital.

Following the success of 2017, which sold more than 7,000 tickets and £16,000 worth of books over the weekend, the Barnes Children's Literature Festival is returning for its fourth year with more than 80 fun events for young book fans and their families. As well as programming some of the best known names in children’s books, Barnes is committed to nurturing new talent, offering exceptional events that audiences are unlikely to see at any other UK festival.

The Festival opens on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th May 2018 with its new, free, expanded Education and Community Outreach Programme. The festival provides this to all primary school children, teachers and librarians in London, enabling 3,000 children to engage with some of their favourite authors and illustrators. Thursday's KS1 programme features the award-winning author-illustrator team behind The Dragonsitter who will explore imaginative writing and drawing skills with kids; Chennai-born Chitra Soundar will talk about the Indian myths and legends she grew up on, encouraging her young audience to view the wider world with empathy; and multi-award winning Czech illustrator Petr Horacek will bring some of his best-loved characters to life with a live drawing session, showing kids how illustrations are created and how to develop new ideas for storytelling. 

Friday's KS2 programme kicks off with best-selling author and former primary school teacher Caroline Lawrence who will be bringing to life her famous Roman Mysteries series; poet, performer and educator Joshua Siegal, author of I Don't Like Poetry, will offer a brilliant introduction to poetry, inspiring kids to create rhymes of their own, the more ridiculous the better; multi-award-winning author SF Said wraps up the school programme with an event that encourages imaginative thinking and creative writing. 

Firsts for Barnes this year include the London premiere of the stage adaptation of Lauren Child’s highly acclaimed Ruby Redfort detective series and the introduction of special programming for children who, for whatever reason, may require some extra care to enjoy their festival visit, including a session with sign language support for Ross Montgomery’s latest book Max and the Millions, which stars a young deaf boy.  Nick Cope will also be bringing his brilliant Family Song Book to London for the first time.

Centred around the much-loved green, which lends the festival its ‘village fete’ feel, Barnes boasts ten venues including the popular interactive stage, which will host various workshops.  Aardman Animations will return with its popular, hands-on model-making workshop open to all ages.  And the Royal Academy of Dance will hold its first event at the festival with its all-singing, all-dancing Matilda Musical Theatre workshop. Unlike other top tier festivals, Barnes is proud to be a community event, entirely organised and produced by over 100 volunteers, including founder and director Amanda Brettargh. The surplus from ticket sales, along with a percentage of book sales, will be donated to local primary school libraries. 

In recognition of its community spirit, local MP Zac Goldsmith will be the spokesperson for this year’s festival.  Commenting on his new involvement, Goldsmith says: “The Barnes Children's Literature Festival brings the whole community together for one weekend to promote the power of reading, writing and ideas to more and more children every year from all over London and the UK. The Festival has transformed Barnes into London's capital of children's literature and it is a source of huge pride that The Tiger Who Came to Tea was born here as well as so many of our favourite stories.”

The festival is presented in partnership with the Barnes Community Association (BCA), the University of Roehampton and Barnes Bookshop. Tickets are due to go on sale the week of Monday 12th March 2018. The full programme and more information can also be found at http://www.barneskidslitfest.org/.


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