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COVID FOR KIDS WITH PROFESSOR TOM SOLOMON

This year‘s Barnes Children’s Literature Festival presents particular challenges because of the pandemic. Luckily, Professor Tom Solomon an emerging infections expert at the centre of the UK response is on his way to Barnes with his new event, Covid for Kids at 1pm on Sunday 27th June, where you’ll have…
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Axel Scheffler with children signing book

An Update from HQ on Covid-19

Dear Barnes Children’s Literature Festival family, We do hope you and your families and friends have been managing to stay safe and sane during these strange times. We’re raring to go ahead in June but we’re also watching the same news reports about the coronavirus crisis as you are, and with things…
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Remembering Judith Kerr

Everybody in Barnes was saddened by the passing of Judith Kerr on 22 May 2019. The children's literature legend fell ill a few days before her annual appearance at the Festival and died shortly after, just a couple of weeks before her 96th birthday.
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Beyond the page

Have you ever wondered what a cross between a witch and a mermaid would be like? Author Sibéal Pounder invited her festival audience to find out.
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The true story behind Cloud Boy

Master storyteller Marcia Williams, author and illustrator of Mr William Shakespeare’s Plays, Greek Myths for Young Children and Three Cheers for Woman and many many more, has written her first novel!
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It’s a full house with Emma Carroll

Emma Carroll signing books. A talk that opens with ‘Duran Duran’ and embarrassing childhood pictures of a bad 70’s haircut, is only going to go one way – absolutely hilariously. ‘The Letters from the Lighthouse’ author kicked things off at Barnes Methodist Church, discussing all things old and new in the life…
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How to write a great story

Bestselling author of The Roman Mysteries and P K Pinkerton series, Caroline has mastered Greek mythology, Roman quests and more recently time travel; and now she's sharing her secrets for writing great stories!
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Lisa Thompson’s top writing tips

It isn’t just about writing. I was creating ideas, stories and inventing fictional worlds long before I became a novelist. Stories are all around us if you use your eyes and ears.
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Magic and myth with Ross Welford

Ross Welford developed an interest in magic and mythology as a child although his first foray into the world of writing was not in children’s literature. It was after having children of his own he decided to write children’s books, he told his audience at Barnes Children’s Literary Festival 2019.
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Top marks for Robin Stevens

Robin Stevens, author of the wildly popular Murder Most Unladylike series, told Barnes Children’s Literature Festival how her unique childhood – moving from America aged five to live on-campus at an Oxford college with her parents – has heavily influenced her writing.
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Francesca Simon presents the final Horrid Henry book

Appearing at the festival to promote her latest work and discuss how she developed the bestselling Horrid Henry Series, she said she will now be moving into focus on new characters for the publishers Faber and Faber. After completing the 25th Horrid Henry book, she said it was a good number at which to stop.
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Runaway Success

With his natural wit and easy story telling ability, Frank Cottrell-Boyce had the audience in the Barnes Marquee in stitches from the get-go as he introduced his new book, ‘Runaway Robot’.
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Roald Dahl and the Wurble Gobblers

From learning a special Tale Tenders salute (make an opening book and then a 'T' with your hands) to encouraging a lot of laughter through making silly faces and roaring like a monster, children were learning the importance of books from Terry and Brenda.
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Lauren Child and the art of wasting time

Looking particularly fabulous in her tailored black suit and red, glittering gloves, Lauren Child poses the question: “Do we ever think about nothing?” While today’s social pressures can make us feel like we must always be doing something productive, Lauren asks us to stop and consider allowing ourselves time to do nothing at all.
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Straight up fun with Jim Smith

What’s the funniest book you’ve ever read? Probably Adrian Mole, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much while reading a book as I did while reading that book, which I read while laughing a lot - more than any other book I’ve ever read, in fact.
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There’s more than meets the eye with Steven Butler

Steven Butler, author of 'The Nothing to See Here Hotel' series, weirdly and wonderfully illustrated by Steven Lenton, is coming to Barnes this year with his ragtag band of monsters in tow. Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Steven is treating us to an afternoon of monstrously good fun that is not to be missed. Here he tells us about his love of all things deep sea, his fantasy pet monster and the fourth book in the series -- result!
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Kicking things off with Tom Palmer…

When it comes to all things football, one name comes to mind… Tom Palmer. From the Football Academy series to The Squad Series to Armistice Runner, Tom brings his love of football and reading back to Barnes Festival 2019 and we couldn’t be more excited!
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Inside Jeremy Strong’s naturally funny mind

From the The-Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog to the My Brother’s Famous Bottom series, funny man Jeremy Strong has written over a hundred books! He will be bringing some of his first class hilarity to Barnes Festival 2019 and introducing his latest book Armadillo & Hare. And this is no ordinary hare of course. For starters, this one plays the tuba... We can’t wait to hear more!
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Sophy Henn on her love of animals

There might not be anyone else on the planet who loves animals as much as Sophy Henn. Sophy is a friend to all things furry and she’s bringing some of that love to this year’s festival: thank you Sophy! A first class picture book maker; she’s the heart behind the highly acclaimed ‘Where Bear?’ and the ‘Pom Pom’ series. If there’s anything more she enjoys than being around animals, it’s illustrating them… unless it’s horses and unicorns. Join us in welcoming Sophy at the festival for non-stop animal fun and her latest books ‘Lifesize’ and ‘Lifesize Dinosaurs’. You’re guaranteed to have a dino-mite time.
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A quick catch up with Candy Gourlay…

Candy Gourlay, the author of Bone Talk and Is it a Mermaid?, joins us for this year’s festival, hoorah! Candy, originally from the Philippines, is a dab hand at writing for different cultures and inviting the reader on a fascinating journey that grips and delights you. Candy is the BookTrust’s writer in residence and she’s coming to Barnes to share her experiences and reveal all about the mysterious dugong, a creature who might just be a mermaid – so it’s definitely not to be missed.
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