Some nine authors will be heading to the fantastic Wokingham Children’s Book Festival this October in a series of live and online events. 

Now in its 4th year, this dedicated book festival will bring diverse and lively events to Wokingham’s avid young readers on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 October.  The festival line-up, featuring big names and local talent from the world of children’s books, has just been announced.  Joining the celebrations are:  

  • Winner of the Blue Peter Best Story Award and bestselling author Kieran Larwood, will be talking about The Five Realms: Uki and the Ghostburrow. This is the sixth book, set in the world of Podkin One-Ear, which sees Uki and his companions attempt to save rabbit kind from destruction.  
  • Poet Joshua Seigal, winner of the 2020 LOLLIES, will be sharing poetry from his brand new collection Yapping Away. This, like all his previous poetry collections, is hilarious and witty alongside being heartfelt and will delight young poetry fans and even convert the sceptics. 
  • Best-selling author Holly Webb, will be exploring themes around environmentalism and friendship – perfect for the Greta Thunberg generation. She will be talking about her Earth Friends books and explaining how small changes can make a big difference to us and the world around us 
  • Hannah Lee will be hosting a fun-filled and interactive event around her new picture book, The Rapping Princess. Children can learn more about fairy tales and the perfect ingredients to writing their very own rap! 
  • Swapna Haddow, joining live from New Zealand, and will talk about the first book in her brand-new series, Bad Panda, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey. Expect mischief, mayhem and some very naughty pandas 
  • Annabelle Sami will talk about being an author and the inspiration behind her books ‘Llama Out Loud’ and ‘Llama on a Mission’. There’ll be stories, lots of llama jokes and an interactive ‘choose your own adventure’ style writing activity, where the audience will help to plan a break into the top-secret Llama Headquarters 
  • Krina Patel-Sage reading from her book My Mindful A to Zen will also be running a mindfulness activity 
  • Benjamin Dean, past Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month. Benjamin will be discussing ‘Me My Dad and the End of the Rainbow’ – his debut with LGBTQ+ themes of love and family 
  • David Melling, author and illustrator of the amazing, “ Hugless Douglas” books will be joining us to introduce  his new character Ruffles, for a fantastic draw-along event!  

Last year we had over 650 families attend the book festival weekend and reached over 11,000 students through the schools outreach program, both held online due to Covid-19 restrictions.  For 2021 the festival is running a hybrid model with limited in person Covid secure events at Wokingham Town Hall and everything available streamed online. Tickets will be on sale from the beginning of September.  

www.wokingham-tc.gov.uk/bookfest

Sally Gurney, Chair of Arts and Culture Committee, Wokingham Town Council said: ‘We’re excited to have both in-person and live, online events in the schedule this year. Book festivals are great fun and inspiring too! 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 Bill Soane, executive member for neighbourhood and communities at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “The festival is a great chance for local children to see some of their favourite authors and hear them talk about their books.  We have a packed programme with something for everyone, suiting all tastes and age groups.  Its promises to be another wonderful festival.” 

The Wokingham Children’s Book Festival is bought to you by Wokingham Town Council, Wokingham Borough Council’s Library Service, ‘more arts.’ and some very dedicated and fun book smart volunteers.