2018

How to Create a Picture Book with Benji Davies

How does an idea occur? And how can you get inspired to get an idea for a story? Benji Davies, an illustrator, author and animation director, gives us a quick rundown of his 4 top tips for creating a picture book and where he normally looks for inspiration for a story.
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Ben Faulks in Barnes

Who were you as a child? The clumsy one? The sporty one? Did you want to grow up to be the same as the rest of the children in your class or something completely different? Kids today might think it’s challenging to be different to their peers and feel like they all have to be the same to be ‘cool’, but could it be cooler to be different? Today Ben Faulks, the author of Watch Out for Muddy Puddles with Ben Cort, and What Makes Me a Me, appears with an important message highlighting our differences as individuals and helping children begin to see how we are all unique. 
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David Solomons and Superheroes

Who knew superheroes were so fun to make? David Solomons, author of ‘My Brother is a Superhero’ and the series, gave an interactive talk on the imagination behind his characters and the craft behind his creation.
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Axel Scheffler – In His Own Words

Read our exclusive Q&A with Axel Scheffler, winner of the acclaimed Illustrator of the Year award at the British Book Awards 2018, and the man behind the legendary Gruffalo series, among many other favourites. Here he talks about the method behind his work, what he loves to draw and what's next for his career....
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Sunday’s Spotlight on Volunteers

Everywhere you look at the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival you’ll see distinctive red aprons emblazoned with our logo, dotted among the crowds. Wearing those aprons is our team of wonderful volunteers who make this festival possible. If they’re not helping out behind the scenes, taking tickets at events, helping families find their seats or authors find their venue, they’re providing refreshments, taking photographs, writing up exciting copy for our website and a million other things to ensure it’s a fun-packed weekend for all the family.
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The Not So Feeble Tor Freeman

Want to learn how to draw an emotional sausage (who doesn’t, right)? Tor Freeman is your lady! Renowned and prolific children’s illustrator, Tor, is coming to Barnes with author Michelle Robinson to talk about their latest book, the infectiously funny Ten Fat Sausages. You may well already have some of her books in your kid’s collection – her drawings have featured in Michael Morpurgo writings and The Wind in The Willows, and she has her own popular Olive series too. Well worth a look for little ones from around 4 years old. Just don’t mention walking sharks, OK?
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Sophie Kinsella on Spiders, Snape and Scary Rides….

You probably already know the name Sophie Kinsella. Best known for her wildly successful Shopaholic series (the first two book were turned into a film starring Isla Fisher), Sophie has now turned her talented writing hand to a series of books for younger readers and – good news alert – she's coming to Barnes to talk about them. Hurrah! Sophie's workshop on her Mummy Fairy and Me books will be great for kids of 7 and over and will feature making your own spells and magic as well as hearing Sophie read from the book and find out about Mummy Fairy’s special kind of magic.
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5 minutes with…. Ross Montgomery

Ross Montgomery, author of Alex, the Dog and the Unopenable Door, The Tornado Chasers and Perijee & Me, is coming to Barnes to talk about his latest book, Max and The Millions. This fascinating book, in the vein of childhood favourite The Borrowers, is all about a deaf boy who discovers a microscopic fantasy world of tiny people living on his bedroom floor no bigger than ants. Ross, who came to writing via the interesting route of pig farming, post delivery, and primary school teaching, will feature loads of fascinating facts about the tiny invisible creatures living around us in his interactive workshop. There will also be activities where the kids can try to imagine what it would be like being ant-sized in a human sized room! The event will feature British Sign Language interpretation. Want to know more about the man behind the books? Read on....
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The Mysterious World of…. Angus Mackinnon and James Thorp

The Elephant in the Room is the fantastically surreal new 'whodunnit' book from James Thorp, complete with psychedelic illustrations by local artist and creative Angus Mackinnon (he's a Sheen resident and a parent of East Sheen Primary). The duo are coming to Barnes on Sunday 13th May to host an interactive reading of this hilarious, madcap mystery. Come along to find out who really did smash The Elephant in The Room...
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