Coram Beanstalk is excited to be partnering with the Reading is Magic Festival, an international programme of online author and illustrator events for children, schools and parents which has been put together by Bath Children's Literature Festival in association with a number of other literary festivals that cannot take place in person this year, including our very own Beanstalk BookFest.

Schools and families are invited to register free to bring some of our favourite writers and illustrators virtually into their classrooms and homes. There will even be the chance to take part in live Q&As.

Events will last between 10 and 30 minutes and will be broadcast on a schools friendly platform. All visual events will have captions, a British Sign Language interpreter and the festival has also partnered with Calibre Audio to ensure that children who struggle to access print can enjoy the books that will be featured in the programme.

The festival has been inspired by Cressida Cowell’s key message as the current Waterstones Children’s Laureate: “reading is magic, and magic is for everyone”. The award-winning children’s author and creator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once book series said, “Books have a transformative magic in their unique ability to develop three key magical powers: intelligence,
creativity and empathy.”

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 is our very own author supporter, Sophy Henn who will be challenging illustrator Steven Lenton to a big draw-off' on 2nd October at 1.30pm. Author Steven Butler will also be on hand to make sure the pair behave themselves! Read more about their event here.

Other events include Costa Book Award-winner 2019 and Bath-based Jasbinder Bilan and teenage influencer Dara McAnulty, author of Diary of a Young Naturalist. Recent Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize-winners Dapo Adeola & Nathan Bryon will share their new book Clean Up! on our “have a planet to read on” themed day and Scottish model, actor and writer Eunice Olumide OBE will lead a discussion on the black curriculum on our “see themselves reflected in a book” day.

Many favourites from previous Bath Children’s Literature Festivals will also be leading sessions, including murder-mystery writer Robin Stevens, Supertato and No-bot creators Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, Sunday Times bestseller Kiran Millwood Hargrave and the Observer political cartoonist and children’s illustrator Chris Riddell. And on the final day UK Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell will be joined by USA National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Jason Reynolds to celebrate the joy of reading! 

See the full programme and sign up to events here