Thursday, October 10, 2013

South Ken Kids Festival 2013

From Monday 18 to Sunday 24 November 2013, the Institut français in London will be staging the 16th annual South Ken Kids Festival. This year’s edition of one of the biggest children’s festivals in the UK will last a full week and feature over 50 public events including drawing duos, workshops, talks, films, live music, book signings, and more.

With a lively mix of household names such as Debi Gliori, Chris Riddell and Nicholas Allan, and up-and-comers who are sure to create the next generation of best-sellers –
Lucille Clerc and Claudia Boldt, among others – this year’s line-up presents the best of present and future, France and the UK. Quentin Blake, who has been the festival’s patron since its birth, celebrates its sweet 16 in style by drawing live on stage with Philippe Dumas, known to some as the French Quentin Blake. Other notable guests include Christian Heinrich and Christian Jolibois of Les P’tites Poules fame, Marion Billet, Roland Garrigue, Ben Newman and Mathieu Sapin. This festival will also be the opportunity for many teens – and the young at heart – to discover Oksa Pollock, the French Harry Potter, which has already been published in nearly 30 countries and made its debut in the UK last June, and to meet the authors Anne Plichota and Cendrine Wolf. British fans are already longing for volume 2, which will come out in February 2014. Most of our other French guests have also had their books translated into English, so UK audiences can discover the very particular world of French picture books, full of charm and sophistication.

The week will be filled with activities and free screenings for schools, while the weekend opens up to the general public with workshops, talks, and imaginative events such as Impro!, which mingles live drawing and piano improvisation, featuring a panel of illustrators and world-class pianist Karol Beffa. The trademark event of the festival, the Drawing Duo, will delight audiences with collaborative live drawing by a French and a British illustrator projected on the big screen of Ciné Lumière. The Big Duo starring Quentin Blake and Philippe Dumas launches the weekend’s festivities, to be followed by Drawing Duos featuring Christian Heinrich and Ben Newman, Roland Garrigue and Nicholas Allan, as well as Chris Riddell and Mathieu Sapin.

The festival also widens its scope by bringing UK audiences a bigger programme of films than ever before. This year’s edition includes adaptations of picture books and comic books – Aya de Yopougon, My Mommy Is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill, Room on the Broom – and the restored version of a timeless classic, The King and the Mockingbird.

All the books by participating artists will be on sale during the Festival and children will have the opportunity to meet their favourite authors and illustrators, who’ll be only too happy to sign their books. The schedule of the book signings can be found on the website.

We’re running a national competition for kids in the UK in partnership with Eurostar. Children are invited to make their own illustrated book about adventures aboard a magical train for a chance to win amazing prizes!

The South Ken Kids Festival 2013 is proud to be supported by the following sponsors and partners: the Institut français in Paris, TV5 Monde, Renault, Eurostar, La Page, Tales on Moon Lane, Bloomsbury, Nobrow, and Pushkin Press.


Institut français | 17 Queensberry Place | London SW7 2DT

Info & bookings: | 020 7871 3515

Press inquiries

Hélène Fiamma at | 020 7073 1307

Natacha Antolini at | 020 7871 3520

Lorraine Keating (PR, Oksa Pollock) at | 07936 449335

© Ben Newlan

© Debi Gliori

© Claudia Boldt


Monday 18 November

Film: Aya de Yopougon

10.30am-12pm | in French with English subtitles | free

British schools (Year 8-Year 12) - French schools (5e-3e)

Film: My Mommy Is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill

1.30pm-2.45pm | in French with English subtitles | free

British schools (Year 5-Year 6) - French schools (CP-CM2)

Tuesday 19 November

Film: Room on the Broom, followed by a Q&A

10.30am-11.30am | in English | free

British schools (Reception-Year 2) - French schools (Moyenne section-CP)

Wednesday 20 November

Film: La Sorcière dans les airs

10.30am-11.15am | in French | free

Thursday 21 November

Event: Cackling Away with

Les P’tites Poules

10.30am-11.30am | in French | £5

French schools (CE1-CM1)

Film: The King and the Mockingbird (Le Roi et l’Oiseau)

1pm-2.30pm | in French with English subtitles | free

French schools (CP-CM2) - British schools (Year 5-Year 9)

Friday 22 November

Event: Oksa Pollock, the Art of Novel Writing

10.30am-11.30am | in French | £5

French schools (5e-3e)

Prize Ceremony

5pm-5.45pm | in English | free

The Big Duo: Quentin Blake & Philippe Dumas

6.30pm-7.30pm | in English | ages 5+ | £5

Saturday 23 November

Film: La Sorcière dans les airs (Room on the Broom)

10am-10.45am | in French | ages 4+ | £5

Workshop with Christian Jolibois

10am-11am | in French | ages 8+ | £7 | max. 25 children

3.30pm-4.30pm | in French | ages 8+ | £7 | max. 25 children

Workshop with Mathieu Sapin

10am-11am | in English | ages 7+ | £7 | max. 25 children

Meeting Oksa Pollock

11am-12pm | in English | ages 10+ | £5

Drawing Duo: Christian Heinrich & Ben Newman

11.30am-12.10pm | in English | age 3+ | £5

Workshop with Marion Billet

1pm-2pm | in English | ages 4+ | £7 | max. 25 children

Drawing Duo: Roland Garrigue & Nicholas Allan

1.30pm-2.10pm | in English | ages 3+ | £5

Create Your Own eBook

2pm-4pm | in English | ages 7-10 | £15 | max. 10 children

Meeting Debi Gliori

2.30pm-3.30pm | in English | ages 4+ | £5

Workshop with Ben Newman

2.30pm-3.30pm | in English | ages 8+ | £7 | max. 25 children

Meeting Chris Riddell

3pm-4pm | in English | ages 8+ | £5

Workshop with Christian Heinrich

3.30pm-4.30pm | in French | ages 8+ | £7 | max. 25 children


5pm-6pm | in English | ages 3+ | £7

Sunday 24 November

Film: The King and the Mockingbird (Le Roi et l’Oiseau)

10am-11.30am| in French with English subtitles | 3+| £8, conc. £6

Workshop with Marion Billet

10am-11am | in English | ages 4+ | £7 | max. 25 children

Workshop with Debi Gliori

10am-11am | in English | ages 6+ | £7 | max. 25 children

Create Your Own eBook

10am-12pm | in English | ages 10-13 | £15 | max. 10 children

Workshop with Claudia Boldt

11.30am-12.30pm | in English | ages 4+ | £7 | max. 25 children

2pm-3pm | in English | ages 4+ | £7 | max. 25 children

Meeting Philippe Dumas

11.30am-12.30pm | in English | ages 6+ | £7 | max. 25 children

Drawing Duo: Chris Riddell & Mathieu Sapin

12.20pm-1pm | in English | ages 3+ | £5

Film: My Mommy Is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill

2pm-3.15pm | in French with English subtitles | 6+| £8, conc. £6

Workshop with Roland Garrigue

2pm-3pm | in English | ages 5+ | £7 | max. 25 children

Workshop with Nicholas Allan

3.30pm-4.30pm | in English | ages 4+ | £7 | max. 25 children

Workshop with Lucille Clerc

3.30pm-4.30pm | in English | ages 6+ | £7 | max. 25 children

Film: Aya de Yopougon

4pm-5.30pm | in French with English subtitles | 8+ | £8, conc. £6

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at the Polka Theatre, London

Polka Theatre

240 Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1SB +44 (0)20 8543 4888

Tumble down the rabbit hole into a magical Wonderland this winter

Join the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts in a magical Wonderland this winter, as Polka’s traditional show for the season shines a new light on one of the most loved stories of all time. Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland comes alive for a new generation at Polka Theatre from 22 November 2013 – 15 February 2014.
Directed by Rosamunde Hutt, written by Simon Reade and with set design by Ti Green this is a Wonderland with a difference. Dusting off the Victorian setting Polka take a fresh look at the story to bring Lewis Carroll’s vivid dream world to life, bursting with original songs and music, stunning contemporary set and costume designs and plenty of imagination and humour for children aged 6+ and their families.

Top of the list of children's favourites since 1865, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a timeless tale about growing up. Audiences meet a very modern Alice, played by Ebony Feare; a curious, intelligent and fearless character who is finding out who in the world she is Exploring her attic on a cold winter’s day, Alice’s sister wants her to be quiet, her Mum wants her to stop eating sweets and no one wants to play. But as the White Rabbit appears, Alice's attic is magically transformed into a series of beautiful, strange and fantastical worlds.

Writer Simon Reade remains true to the original, with a gloriously funny and lively script full of mad, oddball characters and curiously strange occurrences!

Leave behind the cold winter afternoons, tumble headfirst down the rabbit hole and enter a world where Alice learns to find her own voice and be courageous. There will be magic, heart, jeopardy, slapstick and of course a song to sing on the way home.

Director Rosamunde Hutt said of the show: “It’s a great thrill to be creating a brand new production of this extraordinary book! Whether we are six or sixty the story weaves a fascinating spell. Come and join us as we travel through Wonderland with Alice and let’s hope we get home safe and sound by teatime!”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland plays at Polka Theatre from 22 November 2013 – 15 February 2014 for ages 6+. Tickets are £16 (concessions £11) and can be booked online at or by calling the Box Office on 020 8543 4888. 

Adventures in Wonderland is sponsored by Morrisons Solicitors.

News from IBBY on the death of Robert Leeson

You will be sad to hear of the death of Robert Leeson, one of the leading children’s writers and children’s literature critics of the late twentieth century.
Alongside a considerable body of writing for children, Bob Leeson was pre-eminent among those writers, critics and campaigners who brought a social awareness to children’s literature, making it responsive to a more diverse society. His influential Reading and Righting (1985) argued for a children’s literature that was inclusive and committed to social equality.
Bob Leeson was also a great and active supporter of IBBY, serving on the IBBY UK Committee for many years in a number of roles. Following his retirement from the Committee, he was one of our select band of honorary members.
I will be sending condolences to Bob’s widow, Gunvor, and his family, on behalf of us all.
Best Wishes,
Clive Barnes (Chair of IBBY UK)

Jim Eldridge's Story Adventure

Hot Key Books returns with another Story Adventure, a free interactive online writing project for KS2 children, for the first time supported by literature charity Booktrust. Launched on 7 October, this new Adventure is with award-winning author Jim Eldridge. The second half of his new book THE WRESTLING TROLLS has disappeared and he needs help to rewrite it in just 8 weeks!
Running from 7 October to 16 December 2013, Jim will post a new chapter of the book on each week and ask children what THEY think should happen next. Not only will they have the chance to influence the story and watch their creativity come alive, but Adventurers whose ideas are chosen by Jim will be credited in the final published book. Children and schools can sign up as a whole class / library group or join individually.
Alongside the interactive parts of the story there is also a schedule of activities reviewed by primary school teachers that the children can get involved in which fit into the Reading and Writing Curriculum (EN1, EN2 and EN3) including non-fiction, drawing, science, maths and journalistic tasks that will support and further their learning.
Using a secure site hosted on a Ning community platform, already has over 400 subscribers after the successful Fleur Hitchcock Story Adventure that saw 2,000 children help author Fleur Hitchcock to write the sequel to Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week SHRUNK! The sequel SHRUNK! MAHEM AND METEORITES will be published in January 2014.
Jim Eldridge says: ‘I've been earning my living as a writer for over 40 years, but it all began for me in childhood: reading, and making up little stories of my own. I am absolutely delighted to be doing the next Story Adventure because - who knows - with children helping to create and write the next WRESTLING TROLLS book, some of them may go on to develop ideas of their own and see it in book or story form. The writers of the future are here, now, and they're doing The Story Adventure. How great is that!
Hot Key Books Editorial Director Sara O’Connor says: “I’m thrilled to be part of building a community of young readers who think the creation of books is exciting – we already have kids drawing dragons and forests. Jim is the perfect author to carry on Fleur’s creative energy and Booktrust is the perfect partner to support it.”
Alison Keeley, Head of Schools at Booktrust says: "Booktrust is delighted to support a scheme that not only engages children in writing, but gives them a tangible reward in the form of a credit in a published book. Children are natural storytellers and hopefully this will highlight for them the enjoyment in writing. Hot Key Books have shown themselves to be creative innovators and we look forward to working with them."
For more information about the project go to

SLA School Librarian of the Year

This year two people have been awarded the honour of the SLA School Librarian of the Year at a celebration at the Hotel Russell in London, on 7th October.

Candy Gourlay, author of the award-wining Tall Story and recently published second novel, The Shine , presented the award to:

Hilary Cantwell , librarian at St Paul’s Community College ( ), Waterford, Republic of Ireland.
Hilary gained expertise in New York schools and public libraries before joining an Irish government programme to create school libraries. St Paul’s has 430 students and is in a rural county with the highest unemployment in Ireland. It is affiliated to the Irish government’s inclusion programme, Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools ( ).

John Iona , librarian at Oasis Academy ( ), Enfield, Middlesex.
John creates award-winning resources, delivers the school’s Extended Project Qualification programme and plays a significant role in curriculum planning and support. The school has 1,100 students of which up to 70% have English as a second language. John actively promotes reading for pleasure with a number of initiatives including Reading Games .
Ginette Doyle, Chair of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Selection committee said: “It was an extremely strong, and international, Honour List. In the end we chose two librarians both working in different ways to bring their libraries into the heart of the school and learning. They are not joint winners, but each deserves the accolade of SLA School Librarian of the Year. ”
SLA School Librarian of the Year Award 2013

Book your Place at Scotland’s Reading Celebration

Book Week Scotland 2013 Programme Announced

The full programme for Scotland’s second national celebration of books and reading has been announced.
Building on the success of last year’s inaugural Book Week Scotland, Scottish Book Trust will deliver a week-long nationwide focus on books, reading and writing from 25 November to 1 December, 2013.

A diverse programme of book-related events will be held across the country, with an emphasis on celebrating whatever you enjoy reading, be it a book, comic, blog or newspaper. Many of the events will be hosted by some of Scotland’s best-loved authors, with highlights of the week including:
  • Three free picture books gifted to every Primary 1 pupil in Scotland. The titles consist of the shortlist for the Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2013: Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb, What's the Time Mr Wolf by Debi Gliori and Jumblebum by Chae Strathie and Ben Cort.
  • Over 400 book-related events in 349 different locations including pop-up book shops, an all night pyjama party in an art gallery, events in libraries and underground book mic nights in a nightclub.
  • 150,000 free copies of Treasures, a short story and poem collection written by the people of Scotland, will be distributed through many channels including bookshops, libraries,VisitScotland visitor centres and the Royal Voluntary Service network. Well known contributors include John and Carole Barrowman, Mairi Hedderwick and Denise Mina.
  • The Ten Favourite Scottish Books will be announced at the end of Book Week Scotland.
  • Scottish children’s illustrator and author Mairi Hedderwick will bring her most famous character, Katie Morag, to life for children across Scotland during a special live broadcast in partnership with the BBC on 28 November.
  • Individuals, communities and organisations across Scotland will be encouraged to host a Big Book Bash to celebrate reading during Book Week Scotland. You can download an information pack from
  • Think you know Scotland’s most inspiring reader, or most committed fan? Perhaps you know someone who likes to read in an unusual place? Nominate them at to be a national Reading Hero.
  • Five large art installations will be unveiled in communities across Scotland to inspire reading.
The names of this year’s Book Week Scotland Author Ambassadors were also unveiled: Children’s author and illustrator Nick Sharratt, popular fiction author Shari Low and poet Ryan Van Winkle will lead the push to spread the joy of reading throughout the country.

Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, said:

“The first Book Week Scotland in 2012 was a great success with over 20,000 people attending events across Scotland. This year’s programme provides even more exciting events for children and adults to celebrate the wonder of the written word.

“Scotland has a strong literary canon and Book Week offers a great opportunity for everyone to celebrate our word-class wealth of talent, creativity and imagination.

“No matter what age, no matter what walk of life we come from, it’s never too early or too late to find the time to read and to discover whole new worlds outside our own.”

Marc Lambert, Chief Executive of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“Book Week Scotland is a celebration of our love affair with books, and of the power of reading and writing, surely humankind’s greatest cultural invention. We want to involve all Scots in a national conversation about what they like to read, and why. Whether it’s escaping for a few hours into fictional worlds, enjoying precious time with your children as you read a bedtime story, fact finding for homework, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, or finding out more about your sporting hero, books enrich all aspects of our lives and hold open the door to a million different possibilities.”

Aly Barr, Development Officer, Creative Scotland, said:
“Book Week Scotland is one of the most anticipated sequels of 2013. The programme is itself a treasure trove of events for children just starting to learn about the wonders to be discovered between the covers of a book, for people for whom books are one of the joys of life, for book lovers in every part of Scotland. I can't wait."

Moira Methven, interim CEO, Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) said:
"We are really excited to be supporting Book Week Scotland this year. It's great that local libraries are going to be venues for lots of events, with over 100 authors visiting libraries for 'Book Week Scotland in Libraries', where you will get to meet authors and listen to unique readings.

"We're also looking forward to seeing lots of fun Big Book Bashes taking place in libraries across the country and don't forget to pop into your local library during the week to pick up your free copy of 'Treasures'.
"Before you vote for your favourite Scottish book, why not discover more about it by logging onto
and one of our librarians will answer your question."

Initiated by the Scottish Government and supported, along with a Readers in Residence programme in libraries, by £250,000 from Creative Scotland, Book Week Scotland will be delivered by Scottish Book Trust. Book Week Scotland in libraries is funded by The Scottish Library and Information Council.

Photographs from this morning’s announcement are available on request from
Audio clips from key spokespeople including Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, and Actor and Presenter John Barrowman are available at on the Scottish Book Trust Audioboo page.