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Reading is Magic Festival

12th Oct 20

Events from the children's digital book festival, Reading is Magic, can now be watched online, with best-selling authors and illustrators including Cressida Cowell, Robin Stevens, Steven Camden, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Jasbinder Bilan, Sharna Jackson, Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet.

Hosted by TV presenter, broadcaster and Strictly Come Dancing finalist, Karim Zeroual, the Bath Children's Literature Festival forged partnerships with other book festivals including Borders Book Festival, Bradford Literature Festival, Brooklyn Book Festival and Toronto International Festival of Authors to create this festival.

The Reading is Magic Festival was inspired by Cressida Cowell's key message as the current Waterstones Children's Laureate: "Reading is magic, and magic is for everyone".

The programme's content is themed around five of the ten points on Cressida Cowell's Waterstones Children's Laureate Charter, which declares that 'Every child has the right to ... be creative for at least 15 minutes a week, have a planet to read on, see themselves reflected in a book, have advice from a trained librarian or bookseller, and read for the joy of it.'

Among the writers and illustrators leading sessions and inspiring young people were New York based mural artist Katie Yamasaki, Costa Book Award-winner 2019 Jasbinder Bilan, and teenage influencer Dara McAnulty, author of Diary of a Young Naturalist.

There are a range of Reading is Magic Festival events now available including: comic artist Adam Murphy on creating your own comics; a podcast about creativity and performance from spoken word artist, Steve Camden; an action-packed storytelling event from the creators of the super-selling Supertato series, Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet; and Cressida Cowell talking about the final book in her number one-selling The Wizards of Once series, Never and Forever.

Other events explored the enduring popularity of the whodunnit mystery with authors Robin Stevens, Sharna Jackson, Serena Patel and Katherine Woodfine sharing top tips on making their own mysteries inspired by their own lives and experiences.

You can also enjoy a podcast in celebration of National Poetry Day presented by poet and self-confessed library-lover Joseph Coelho, teaching children how to perform Poems Aloud and telling them about his personal challenge to join 209 UK libraries.

Multi-award-winning novelist Alex Wheatle MBE also brings a vital part of British and Jamaican history vividly to life in his latest novel Cane Warriors, giving a voice to those who were denied one. Alex credits a prison library with empowering him to use words and actions as a force for change.

Costa Book Award-winner Jasbinder Bilan and Waterstones Children's Book Prizewinner Kiran Milwood Hargrave talk about why reading and storytelling is magical, how they weave this magic into their own books, and the magic they found in the stories they read as children.

There are also events from Pamela Butchart, Steven Lenton and Sophy Henn.


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