Top writers at Bath Children’s Literature Festival

SOME of the biggest names in children’s literature – including Jacqueline Wilson, Cressida Cowell, Michael Rosen and Chris Riddell are coming to Bath for the children’s literature festival, running this year from Friday 27th September to Sunday 6th October.

The 13th annual celebration of the written word, which is Europe’s largest dedicated children’s literature festival, offers events to entertain and educate all ages, from tiny tots to teenagers with a packed programme of talks, workshops and hands-on events.

This year’s festival includes old favourites, such as the Very Hungry Caterpillar and Percy the Park Keeper plus new work from Chris Riddell, David Baddiel, Cressida Cowell and Dame Jacqueline Wilson, who will give Bath fans, in the city where she was born, the chance to buy her new Tracy Beaker novel ahead of official publication on 17th October.

As a tribute to the late and much-loved writer Judith Kerr there will be a special story time featuring some of her best-loved works, including The Tiger Who Came To Tea.

Other highlights are comedian Harry Hill, Clare Balding, Sophie Dahl, Greg James and Chris Smith, Malorie Blackman and Bryony Gordon, while classic characters will include Horrible Histories, Kipper, The Wimpy Kid, Shaun the Sheep, Elmer the Elephant, Dr Who, Malory Towers and the World of Harry Potter.

McFly’s Dougie Poynte will talk about the problem with plastic, wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan will tell tales of animals in some of the world’s coldest spots and ex-England player Casey Stoney, who is currently head coach at Manchester United’s women’s team, will be talking about her footballing career and the history of women’s football.

Bath Festivals’ chief executive Ian Stockley says: “It’s always an exciting time when the festival is on, bringing thousands of young people into the city and seeing writers reach out and share their ideas with curious minds.We’re very pleased and proud once again to involve children from more than 20 schools in the region to give them a life-enriching experience they’ll never forget.”

The festival’s bookshop partner is Waterstones. As well as selling books from all the visiting authors, the shop in Milsom Street, will be hosting a free event on Saturday 5th October for National Bookshop Day. From 10am until 4.30pm local authors, including Moira Butterfield, Graham Baker-Smith and Fleur Hitchcock, will be signing copies of their books. If you have one of their books at home you can take them along to Waterstones on the day.

Pictured: Dame Jacqueline Wilson; Horrible Histories Boudicca; The Very Hungry Caterpillar.