Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Children’s authors have six days of fun lined up

IT seems like only the other week that the Gruffalo was sighted in Henley town centre

IT seems like only the other week that the Gruffalo was sighted in Henley town centre during a visit to the Bell Bookshop.

Now it’s the turn of Charlie and Lola, Hugless Douglas, Beast Quest and Lewis Carroll’s Alice to delight the town’s youngsters.

With more than 40 events for children aged two and upwards running from Tuesday, September 29, to Sunday, October 4, this year’s Henley Children’s Literary Festival is the biggest yet.

After-schools events with former children’s laureate Michael Morpurgo and How to Train Your Dragon creator Cressida Cowell sold out in record time, but tickets are now available for pre-school, post-school and weekend events. The line-up includes Charlie and Lola creator Lauren Child and Hugless Douglas author and illustrator David Melling — as well as interactive workshops on storytelling, drawing and poetry.

The Baillie Gifford Festival Hub in Henley town square will host free storytellings and activities for children aged two and up over the weekend of October 3 and 4.

Children aged three and up can make their own animal headpiece with The Girl with the Parrot on her Head, peek inside Dr Molly’s Medicine Case and hear about The Queen’s Handbag from award-winning author and illustrator Steve Antony.

Children aged five and up can rustle up a tale with the Story Stew Workshop, watch Simon James draw Rex and other dinosaur characters live on stage, and meet lovable bear Hugless Douglas.

Shows for all the family at Henley’s historic Kenton Theatre include Adventuring with the Famous Five and Adventures in Wonderland.

Children aged seven and up can enjoy the tale of two very different sisters in Buckle and Squash, take part in a Beast Quest tournament and bring poetry to life with a poetry workshop.

Events director Harriet Ryan commented: "This is not only our biggest children’s line-up so far — with double the events of last year — but I believe our best and most varied, from bestsellers like Lauren Child and Beast Quest to newer talents."

"We’re thrilled to be involved in what has fast become an annual highlight for children and parents alike and keeps getting bigger and better," added Richard Rodway of event sponsors The Head Partnership. "The whole programme looks fantastic but I am particularly looking forward to The Girl with the Parrot on her Head!"

The children’s events are part of the week-long Henley Literary Festival, supported by Baillie Gifford, which features more than 150 talks including Ben Fogle, Candace Bushnell, Barry Cryer, Caroline Lucas and Princess Michael of Kent.

For full details, visit the Henley Literary Festival website at www.henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk/ childrens-events

NEXT WEEK: Henley Literary Festival directors Harriet Reed and Tom Ryan on their pick of the week’s events.

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