Saturday was our first day at the 2010 Bath Festival of Children’s Literature. We have been going every year this the festival started, it is a real treat every year and I feel really lucky to be near such a fab festival!

Andy Stanton

My son was so looking forward to this. And it lied up to his expectations, and so much more. Andy puts up an amazing show. If you know a reluctant boy reader, take him to see Andy and he will run to the closest bookshop to buy Mr Gum books. Let’s face it, the man is barking mad, but boy did we laugh. At some point I was actually crying with laughter. In all the author events I’ve attended, I don’t think I have ever seen an author with an actual army of fans. I mean, as Andy finished his talk, children actually ran out of the room to get to the signing queue. I can understand why; he is very kind with his fans, chats, signs books, poses for photos. Last year apparently he signed for 2 and half hours. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait this long! Without a doubt one of the best events I have ever been to!

Anthony Browne

I had seen Anthony Browne as part of a panel of illustrators a couple of years ago at the same festival . I was keen to hear him speak in his role of Children’s Laureate. This was a real treat to watch. He invited children onto the stage to play The Shape Game and gave us insight into his latest book Me and You, a retelling of Goldilocks and the 3 bears, with includes an amazing use of colour to convey mood and feelings. He also spoke of his childhood, giving us an insight of what has inspired over the years. And finally he answered questions from the audience; and of course the first question was “why do you like gorillas so much?”. I wonder how often he gets asked that!

Deborah Allwright

My children and I are big fans of Martha, No! (see my review here) so we were really looking forward to meeting Deborah. I had only realised after getting Martha, No! that Deborah was also the illustrator for one of my favourite picture books about books and reading, Don’t Read This Book! After reading the story, Deborah helped the children make a bird.
Have a look at her website, which I think is fantastic.

Jeanne Willis & Gwen Millward

No photos for this one as my husband went in with the children rather than me and I forgot to give him the camera! From the feedback I got, the children had lots of fun. My daughter was amazed that they had a Bog Baby made of clay and was proud to tell me she’d asked Jeanne Willis if bog babies were real. Apparently Jeanne Willis believes that they do, and so does my daughter so she was very happy with her answer. If you do not know the books from this duo I encourage you to remedy this quick. My review of The King of Tiny Things is here and I will be talking about The Bog Baby soon.

My son and husband also went to a Lego-Building event, tying in DK’s Lego Atlantis series.

This week-end we’ll be going again, with some events I am soooooooooooo looking forward to:
– Sarah McIntyre
– Janey Louise Jones (Princess Poppy author) – my daughter is beside herself at the prospect.
– Chris Riddell
– Cornelia Funke
– Maggie Stiefvater & Jennifer Lynn Barnes
How cool is that? I can’t wait :0)