According to a British newspaper, we spend 26 years of our life asleep, six months queuing and 653 hours waiting for trains. Gulp. Here is an alternative list of ways to spend these hours:
26 years: reading Altocumulus Tower books, writing stories
6 months: building dens, climbing trees, chasing unicorns
653 hours: attending gobsmackingly brilliant author events. See below…
The doors to a new museum – and to children’s imaginations – has opened: The Story Museum at Rochester House, Pembroke Street, Oxford. Its first exhibition is ’26 Characters’, in which 26 authors dressed up as their favourite creation from children’s fiction for a photo portrait. Oxford author Philip Pullman chose Treasure Island, comedian Charlie Higson dressed up as Boromir from The Lord of The Rings and Terry Pratchett pulled on some short trousers and an over-sized tie to be Just William. Moontrug cannot WAIT to go. For more details, visit the The Story Museum website.
One of the best literary festivals around, Hay takes places this year from 22nd May until 1st June in Wales. Moontrug has already booked to see Michelle Paver, Jackie Morris and Kate Pankhurst and there are TONS of other authors and illustrators going: Chris Riddell, Paul Stewart, Meg Rosoff, Marcus Sedgwick, Lucy Ivison, Oliver Jeffers, Francesca Simon. For more information, visit the website.
From 28th July until 2nd August, the wonderful Cirencester Literary Festival is taking place! At the Cirencester Library and Octavia’s Bookshop you can see FAB authors like SF Said (Varjak Paw, Phoenix), Lucy Coats (Captain Beastlie’s Pirate Party), Joe Craig (Jimmy Coates thrillers)… And there’s lots more to be announced! Keep an eye out here.
The 3rd Earl of Bute was an important chap (the first ‘director’ of the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew and Prime Minister from 1762-1763) and 250 years ago he built a walled garden at Luton Hoo. He had a passion for learning, whether it was plants or fossils, stones or stars, books or poems, and on 11th May this year, a Children’s Book Festival is being held in his honour at Luton Hoo. The author and illustrator line-up is AMAZING: everyone from Sally Gardner to Lauren Child, Christopher William Hill to Philip Ardagh, Jonathan Meres to Helen Dennis so hop online and book tickets here: Hoo Book Festival.
V&A MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD
Fans of best-selling author, Jacqueline Wilson, can see her VERY OWN TEDDY BEAR at the V & A Museum of Childhood from 5th April 2014. He’s called V.I.P (very important person) and she was given him by her parents when she was a little girl. For more details, click here. And if you’re an animal lover, make sure you buy a copy of Paws & Whiskers, a collection of the nation’s very best stories about animals, selected by Jacqueline Wilson. There are entries from Michael Morpurgo, Enid Blyton, Charles Dickens, Francesca Simon, Malorie Blackman – and the list goes on…!
CHILDREN’S BOOKS ON THE STAGE
Mark Haddon’s brilliantly original novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is showing at the Apollo Theatre in London. Showing until October 2014. Click here for tickets.
Roald Dahl’s brilliant Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has come to the stage – and it’s directed by academy award winner, Sam Mendes! Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. For tickets, call 0844 858 8877 or Click Here.
BEST BOOKSHOPS IN THE UK
1. Tales on Moon Lane: 25 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London, SE24 9JU
2. Ripping Yarns: 355 Archway Road, Highgate, London, N6 4EJ
3.Daunt Books: 83 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4QW
4. Foyles: 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0EB
5. Waterstones: 82 Gower Street, London WC1E 6EQ or 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD
6. Bookseller Crow on the Hill: 50 Westow Street, London SE19 3AF
7. City Books: 23 Western Road, Hove, BN3 1AF
1. Foyles: 6 Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus, Bristol, BS1 3BU
2. St Ives Bookseller: 2 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1AB
3. Falmouth Booksellers: 21 Church Street, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 3EG
4. Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights: 14 -15 John Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 2JL
MIDLANDS & EAST
1. The Book Hive: 53 London Street, Norwich, NR2 1HL
2. Booka Bookshop: 26-28 Church Street, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 1TN
3. Toppings: 9 High Street. Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4LJ
1. Urmston Bookshop: 72A Flixton Road, Urmston, Manchester, M41 5AB
2. Waterstones Bradford: Bradford Wool Exchange, Hustlergate, Bradford, BD1 1BL
1. Edinburgh Bookshop: 219 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4DH
2. Blackwell’s Edinburgh: 53-62 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1YS
3. Inkspot and Silverleaf: 76-78 South Street, Bo’ness, Falkirk, EH51 9HA
‘Laugh in the face of fear’*
*With the one exception of angry tigers. In that scenario I would advise fairly brisk running’ (Rachel Bright, the bright side)