London’s largest children’s literature festival returns with in-person events

The Barnes Children’s Literature Festival has announced its 2021 event will take place in person over the last weekend of June.

The festival has events scheduled on the 25-27 June across Barnes, alongside an extended programme that is free to schools and runs over the preceding week.

The programme includes over 60 events, allowing children to express themselves creatively and to meet the authors and illustrators of their favourite books.

The promotional art used this year was designed by Helen Oxenbury as a tribute to Judith Kerr, beloved children’s author who died in 2019 and regularly attended the festival while she lived in Barnes.

Judith Kerr is best remembered for "The Tiger Who Came to Tea"
TRIBUTE: Judith Kerr is best remembered for “The Tiger Who Came to Tea”

Featured speakers include Dame Jacqueline Wilson, author of the Tracy Beaker series and Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo.

Organisers boasted the line-up was “even better than ever.”

Other acts include a performance by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, featuring family friendly versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Scottish Play.

The festival is the first of its kind to return to in person assembly since the global pandemic forced most similar events online.

After the 2019 festival sold more than 10,000 tickets the move to virtual events in 2020 managed to attract quadruple that viewership from 46 countries.

Children who can’t waIt to get started can get involved already through the events submitted to the festivals YouTube channel, which includes dramatic readings of books and art lessons.

A full programme for the event, alongside donation and signup links can be found here.

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