2017

Radio host Christian O’Connell and his family of editors

Christian O’Connell swapped his 2 million radio listeners for a packed room of parents and children at the OSO Arts Centre to talk about his new book Radio Boy. The Absolute Radio presenter’s first children’s novel is the story of a boy called Spike who, under the mysterious moniker Radio Boy,…
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Gareth P Jones’ ways to detect an alien

Award-winning author of the Pet Defender and Dragon Detective Agency series Gareth P Jones joined us at Barnes for a silly and hilarious song-filled event. He talks to Bethany Park about his love of detective writing, his Pet Defender series and how to detect an alien. What is your favourite of the…
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A hip hop journey with Ed Vere

Ed Vere introduced his new character Grumpy Frog to a packed hall, reports Sian Kissock. The award-winning illustrator started by asking children what they love to draw. Answers ranged from big cats, dinosaurs and slugs to flowers, fruit and pirate ships. The audience read Banana together – a picture book about a monkey with a…
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Robert Winston and the amazing human body

​World-renowned scientist and award-winning author, Robert Winston, gave a lecture on wonders of the human body to a sold-out audience at Barnes Methodist Church ahead of the release of his latest children’s science book, My Amazing Body Machine. After the talk Professor Winston took some tough questions from children in the audience.
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History galore with Lucy Worsley

Lucy Worsley has many strings to her bow – TV historian, chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces and author – and she’s mixed them all by delving into the life of a young Queen Victoria, explains Sian Kissock. Lucy engaged the enthusiastic audience through witty facts and mystery. Did you know being a historian involves reading…
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Bid now on a Nicholas Allan original

Nicholas Allan talked to lucky attendees about his hilarious book The Queen’s Knickers this morning. He has kindly donated the picture he drew to be auctioned. It’s your chance to own an exclusive, original souvenir of the festival! Please send your bid to donaldandkirsty@yahoo.co.uk or text 07909881459 by 5pm on Monday 15 May. The winner will…
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Clare Balding gallops in

Clare Balding gave an immensely positive and amusing talk to the crowd on Saturday in the Book Marquee, reports Sian Kissock. She started by introducing her first children’s book The Horse That Wouldn’t Gallop, enthusiastically discussing meeting the book’s illustrator Tony Ross for the first time earlier in the day. He…
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Morning tea with Marcia Williams

Marcia Williams endeared herself to the girls attending her morning tea at Sonny’s Kitchen, says Nohely Gedeon. The author and illustrator of Lizzie Bennett’s Diary enthralled everyone – from the girls and their mothers to the event organisers – as she spoke of her works and the importance of keeping a diary.
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Lauren St John swaps gorillas for Barnes

“I spent Monday and Tuesday climbing volcanos with gorillas and it’s taking me a while to get used to being back here,” Lauren St John warned her audience before starting her talk. Arno Bryant reports.
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Sarah Gibb’s top tips to create your fairytale world

Sarah Gibb has a special kind of talent, able to bring a magical mix of classic and contemporary fairytale imagery to live with the stroke of a brush, explains Nohely Gedeon. She has illustrated work for authors like Jojo Moyes, Catherine Alliot and Holly Webb. Sarah’s illustrations of classic fairytales we grew up with…
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Going Dotty with Clara Vulliamy

Clara Vulliamy talks to Nohely Gedeon about Dotty Detective and working with Shirley Hughes. With over 30 years’ experience as an illustrator and author, Clara Vulliamy has brought to life many favourite characters and Dot from Dotty Detective is no exception.
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Jamila Gavin’s blend of European and Indian fairy tales

From cackling, wicked witches to blue-scaled snake princesses, some of the most traditional fairy tales have been forgotten over time. Bethany Park spoke to award-winning author Jamila Gavin about the extraordinary nature of fairy tales and their importance in reflecting a modern, multicultural Britain.
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