Welcome to the first Barnes Children’s Literature Festival!

The first of many is on 24th & 25th April

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Barnes Children's Literature Festival


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Barnes has a rich literary legacy. From Henry Fielding writing about London life in the mid-eighteenth century to the legendary Judith Kerr, who has written and illustrated more than thirty books for children from her home in Barnes including The Tiger who Came to Tea, and Britain’s best loved poet Roger McGough who has lived here for over twenty years. It’s the perfect place for a children’s literature festival.

Here in SW13 our trees are tall, our grass is always green and our pond is out of a picture book. Swans flap by. This is a literary festival with the feel of a country fair.

Under our magnificent planes and horse chestnuts, you will find some of the best known names in children’s literature plus a few special treats that you’re unlikely to see anywhere else.

Someone once said that crossing London’s loveliest bridge to come back to Barnes is like walking from black and white into colour.

The much loved television star Holly Willoughby and her sister, Kelly Willoughby, will make a special appearance at the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival. Holly and Kelly are the co-writers of the hugely popular series for younger readers L’Etoile: School for Stars which is set in a stage school and follows the lives, friendships and dreams of stardom of the pupils. Their first title in the series, First Term at L’Etoile, became the UK’s highest selling children’s debut of 2013.

Their fifth and latest book in the series Double Trouble at L’Etoile was released last month.
Holly Willoughby, who hosts shows including This Morning and Surprise Surprise, and her sister, Kelly, said that working on School for Stars fulfilled a long held ambition to write together.

‘It was a dream come true writing our own children’s book and we are thrilled children love it as much as we do,’ they said. The sisters, both working mums, said they were delighted to be invited to come to Barnes. 'Barnes is the loveliest village in London. It's a great place for families with a real community feel and we can't wait to be part of the fun on the day,' they said.

Holly and Kelly Willoughby will appear at the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival at 10.00am on Saturday 25 April 2015 at the OSO Community Arts Centre, Station Road, Barnes, SW13 0LF.

So come on! Come into the colour! Come to Barnes.

There aren’t many literature festivals that have their own poem – in fact we can’t think of any! So it seems fitting then that we hand it over to Roger who celebrated the announcement of the first Barnes Children’s Literature Festival by putting pen to paper:

This year in Barnes
Imagine the scene:
Words cascading
Around the Green

Sound the trumpets
Thump the drums
In Spring, a Children’s
Book Fest comes


April 17, 2015