Guest Columns

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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In conversation with… Frances Hardinge

Novelist Frances Hardinge has a style of all her own, both in her atmospheric and accomplished writing and with her appearance thanks to her signature black fedora hat. Perhaps most famous for her Costa Award-winning novel, The Lie Tree, Frances will be at Barnes discussing how this book changed her life, and also talking about her latest book A Skinful of Shadows,  a dark, historical tale of a mysterious family’s hidden secrets, and a young girl’s quest to shape her own destiny. An event not to be missed for anyone who enjoys her work and wants to hear more about the inspirations of an acclaimed author.
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The (not so) Magical World of Emily Gravett

Emily Gravett is a name that features on most kids' bookshelves. Her distinctive, interactively illustrated picture books are a firm favourite with kids and parents alike, and have won two Kate Greenaway awards (no one has won three). Her books, including 'Orange Pear, Apple Bear', 'Meerkat Mail' and 'Little Mouse's Book of Fears' are vastly re-readable (a must for books for tinies!) thanks to their witty use of language and interpretive illustrations. Her workshop at Barnes is sure to be bursting with drawing tips, as well as her giving us a sneaky peek of her upcoming book 'Cyril and Pat'. Get your tickets while you can!
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Duncan Beedie on elbows, aircrafts and annuals…

Duncan Beedie’s career as a children’s author started with a bang, when his debut picture book, ‘The Bear Who Stared’ was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2017. He’s gone from strength to strength with his latest two offerings ‘The Last Chip’ and ‘The Lumberjack’s Beard’, both packed with the punch of his trademark, cartoony illustration style, developed while working in animation. Come and see Duncan’s artistry in action at Barnes on Sunday 13th May, where he he will be hosting an interactive story time and live drawing from ‘The Last Chip’, his book all about a hungry pigeon….
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Jay Jay Burridge on Dinos, Darth Vader and Dr Seuss

Jay Jay Burridge, author and creative, is bringing dinosaurs back to life. His epic six part book series, 'Supersaurs', (books 1 and 2 are out now) tells the tale of what would happen if dinosaurs were still walking the earth. They have an augmented reality aspect and come complete with illustrations that will burst to life with the use of the Supersaur app. Intrigued? So were we, which is why we have invited him along to Barnes to talk more about his passion for dinosaurs, how they were first discovered and what they might be like if they really had survived and evolved.
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Andy Stanton on yellow snow and prehistoric sharks

Looking for belly laughs from your Barnes Kids Lit Fest experience? Andy Stanton's your man. The massively successful author, who wrote his first book in several hours one Christmas Eve as a festive present for his family, will be talking about his wickedly funny Mr Gum series. He will also be talking about his latest one-off book of hysterical/historical stories, Natboff! One Million Years of Stupidity, which lives up to the fantastically surreal promise of its title. We can't wait for this one – see you there!
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Bloom in Barnes!

He's best known as CBeebies Mr Bloom, but did you know that Ben Faulks, the man behind every kid's favourite allotment, is also a children's author? Good news alert – he's coming to Barnes! He'll be here on Saturday 12th May to talk about two books – 'Watch Out for Muddy Puddles' with Ben Cort, and 'What Makes Me a Me?' with David Tazzyman. His workshop is ideal for 'tiddlers' (3 and up) and will be an entertaining adventure about what makes us unique and how to get prepared for fantastical puddle jumping excursion! Just don't get him started on eggs, OK?
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A Family Sing Song with Nick Cope

Monkeys, bears, socks and mud – this man sings about all the things children love! If you haven’t seen singer/songwriter/illustrator/author/all-round kids entertainment guru, Nick Cope, in action yet, you’re missing out.
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