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Joy for young readers as book festival returns for fifth year

Joy for young readers as book festival returns for fifth year

21 September 2022
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Young readers get ready as we’ve some incredible, award-winning authors coming to Wokingham in October for the fifth year of the Wokingham Children’s Book Festival.


The schedule is jam-packed with fun and engaging events with authors, illustrators and inspirational storytellers lined up to get everyone excited about books and the creative processes behind writing.


The festival line-up features big names, with a total of 16 sessions taking place over the weekend of 15 and 16 October at Wokingham Town Hall and the new Wokingham Library.


As well as in-person sessions, there is also the chance to join in some sessions that are being livestreamed.


Holly Webb, one of Britain’s best-loved children’s writers, will get the festival underway with a talk about her new book The Story of Green River. She has written more than 100 books for children and is a regular and popular guest at the book festival.


Award-winning author Manjeet Mann will be joined by illustrator Amanda Quartey on the Sunday for a talk about their new book Small’s Big Dream. Mann is the founder of Run the World, an organisation that works with women and girls from marginalised backgrounds and helps to empower them through storytelling and sport.


The funny and brilliant Steve Antony is also making a return this year, giving a whirlwind trip around the world. During his talk on Saturday, children will explore famous landmarks and learn how to draw character from his award-winning books.


Joining the celebrations are...


• Author Dapo Adeola, who is known for illustrating the Look Up picture book series, will share stories about journey into becoming an illustrator

Jane Elson is giving a dramatic reading of her book How to Fly with Broken Wings

• Author of Time Travelling with a Hamster Ross Welford will be introducing his latest book Into the Sideways World

Sophy Henn, the creator of the much-loved Bad Nana series, will talk about her new book Pizazz

• Picture book author Michael Catchpool will give advice on writing stories

Sufiya Ahmed is giving a reading and a workshop on the inspiration behind her characters

Rikin Parekh will talk about his picture book Fly, Tiger, Fly! followed by a drawing tutorial

• Illustrator Yijing Li is sharing the story of her journey from China to the UK and how it has inspired her career

• Fans of Norse myth can hear Louie Stowell talk about her brand-new book Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good and learn tips about comic-style drawing

• Join Christopher Edge as he brings his book Escape Room to life with puzzles and challenges

• Bestselling author Tim Tilley is hosting an exciting talk on folklore, myths and his latest magical adventure Witchstorm

Sean Taylor, author of The Dream Train, will be sharing calm songs and gentle finger rhymes for young children

Nizrana Farook, the author of The Boy Who Met a Whale, is talking about her adventure book The Girl Who Lost a Leopard


Bringing joy to young people


Cllr Sally Gurney, chair of Wokingham Town Council’s Arts and Culture Committee, said: "Book festivals are great fun and inspiring! I can point to the signed books on my shelves and tell you all about the time I met the author, what they were like, what we talked about. 


"Being able to be even a small part of bringing this joy, this ever-expanding world of endless possibilities, to young people in my town is wonderful. There will be stories, there will be talks, there will be laughter, there will be games, there will be books, and there will be authors! All we need now is the audience. Come and join us, we’ve a great weekend in store for you.”


Cllr Sarah Kerr, executive member for climate emergency and resident services for Wokingham Borough Council, said: “The Wokingham Children’s Book Festival is always one of the most hotly anticipated events of the year. These books may be aimed at children and young people, but the authors give such captivating talks and bring their stories to life in a way that is enjoyable for all the family.


"It is really good to see such a diverse line-up for this year’s festival and I am sure the events will be popular, so make sure you book tickets to see your favourite authors and illustrators.”


How you can join in the fun


Tickets for live events remain at £3 per seat, while access to streamed sessions is £3 per household. These can be purchased online from the Wokingham Children’s Book Festival Website.


The festival is brought to you by Wokingham Town Council, Wokingham Borough Council’s Library Service, Love Wokingham, more arts and some very dedicated volunteers.


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