What’s a book festival I wondered when I saw that Luton Hoo has a book festival on Sunday 21st April.
“I’ve been to music festivals with the kids, maybe I should take the kids” I thought?
Then they invited me, wicked!! So I’m going to be able to tell you about it, but I’m also really hoping to convince lots of local people to come along too.
The reason being:
Children’s authors tend to be really funny and really cool, and they get the kids excited in ways that we as ‘boring parents’ can’t possibly do.
I know this because Bowmansgreen where Curly Headed Boy goes to school invited Timothy Knapman for World Book Day, he inspired CHB and SIGNED A BOOK for him and since then CHB has moved up from those skinny books you get at school to proper ‘take a few days to read‘ books.
Books are my escape, my rest, my rejuvenation, my sanity creator in a world of chaos.
Children need that escape.
But let me show you by introducing Jonathan Meres to you, the creator of ‘The World of Norm’. He’s one of the authors who will be at Hoo Book Fest, along with a tent for Roald Dahl, Beast Quest and the Famous Five, plus an illustrators tent, and creative writing tent.
Read to the bottom because there is a COMPETITION where you could win tickets to the festival!!!
For more author intro’s checkout:
James Mayhew on Hertfordshire Mummy on Tues 26th March.
Guy Parker-Rees on Dorky Mum on Wed 27th March.
David Melling on Being a Mummy on Thurs 28th March.
My name is Jonathan Meres. I write books and stuff and I can honestly say that I’m really looking forward to being part of this year’s Hoo’s Kids Book Festival. Bet you think I say that about every festival or event I’m invited to, don’t you? Go on, admit it. You do, I know you do. I’d probably think exactly the same thing myself if I was reading this.
Well you shouldn’t be so cynical. OK, fair enough – so even if I wasn’t looking forward to it, I wouldn’t be so insensitive as to actually say so. I’m not stupid. I’d probably come out with some waffly non-specific guff about the festival’s growing reputation and the chance to meet some new readers and blah blah whatever. But the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is that I’m genuinely looking forward to it. And I’ll tell you why.
Firstly, I’ve never really been to Luton. I’ve passed through it countless times – either on the train to and from London when I was growing up in The East Midlands – or nowadays when I fly down from Edinburgh. Not to mention skimming past numerous times on the M1. But passing through somewhere isn’t the same as actually going there.
When I left school and joined the merchant navy, I went to many different ports in many different countries all around the world. The list of places I’ve set foot in is admittedly impressive. Well, if you’re impressed by that kind of thing it is anyway. The list of places I’ve actually been to, however – as in really visited and got to see – is considerably less impressive. Technically I’ve been to Rio De Janeiro. But I haven’t really seen Rio De Janeiro, other than the dockside. I don’t intend to make the same mistake in Luton. And yes, I know there isn’t a dockside in Luton, but that’s not the point. The point is, I don’t want to look back on Luton in years to come with the same feeling of intense regret as I look back on Rio now. And there’s a sentence I was never expecting to write.
The second reason I’m looking forward to coming to Hoo’s Walled Garden so much? Well the clue’s in the name. It’s a walled garden. Not a fenced garden. Not a railinged garden. Not an open-plan garden. An actual walled garden. I love walled gardens. No, really I do. There’s something very special about them. Something nostalgic and yes, something magical about them too. Sun-dials glinting in the moonlight? Clocks striking thirteen? Edwardian children gallivanting about, being all…well, Edwardian basically?
Now at the time of writing I haven’t looked online to try and find any actual images. I may be way off the mark. Maybe it’s not that magical, or special at all. Maybe it’s just a common or garden garden. With a common or garden garden wall around it. But somehow I doubt it. So I’m going to spend the next month building it up and up in my head. And right now, Hoo’s Walled Garden feels like the perfect location for a children’s book festival. And frankly, if there isn’t a cantankerous old Scottish gardener waging an ultimately futile one-man war against the rabbits when I get there? There’ll be trouble.
Win 1 family ticket (4 tickets minimum one adult) to Hoo Bookfest by adding a comment to say which event your children would love most.
The competition ends on Sunday 31st March at midnight.
You can enter again by tweeting, and following Hoobookfest and myself on twitter and Facebook.
UPDATE: Isabel Thomas you are the winner!!!
Competition terms and conditions
We have 1 family ticket (4 tickets minimum one adult) to give away and the lucky winner will be chosen at random.
This giveaway closes on Sunday March 31st at midnight and the winner will be notified by email.
Make sure your email is correct in the comment that you add, otherwise we will not be able to contact you to send tickets.
– Within 7 days of notification the winner(s) is required to email confirmation of acceptance of the prize to Mummy Whisperer, along with a postal address in the United Kingdom to which the prize can be sent. If the winner doesn’t provide such confirmation their entry will be disqualified and an alternative winner will be chosen.
-The winner(s) consents to their name being displayed on this site
-The prize cannot be transferred and no cash alternative is available.
-The decision of Lisa Pearson will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Disclosure: I’ve been given a family ticket to the festival and this ticket for a competition for my readers. But I was excited about it beforehand, so it hasn’t affected my opinion.
24 thoughts on “Hoo’s Kid’s Book Fest: Meet Jonathan Meres and WIN TICKETS!”
Hi I would like to enter Lisa!
Hope you will come anyway @ClareR? Sorry you didn’t win.
My kids would absolutely love the Roald Dahl tent!!
I’m heading to that one too @Karie, sorry you didn’t win.
Well, my book-crazy 8 yr old would be torn between seeing the totally fabulous and totally famous Lauren Child as she was simply her favourite and her best author when younger, and the derring do of the Famous Five who she devoured at Christmas after being given the box set. Bottles of pop and sardine sandwiches all round if she wins a ticket!
I love famous five too @siobhan, my son is just getting into it. Sorry you didn’t win
We’d love to see Lauren Child – HUGE Charlie & Lola fans!
Sorry you didn’t win lovely @Liz, hope you will come anyway!
We’d love to go to this this year!
Sorry you didn’t win MrsC, hope you come anyway?
I’d love love love to take my boys (4 and 3) to see the James Mayhew & Clara Vulliamy double act! And I would also sneak off to see Jonathan Meres myself, as I follow him on Twitter and he is so so so funny!
Big congratulations @Isabel!!!!
We’d love to go – Guy Parker Rees came to Mandeville and thoroughly inspired all the children again – and it would be absolutely wonderful to see the gorgeous and cake loving Clara Vulliamy again – she’s just brilliant.
Sorry you didn’t win @JennyJ, hope you guys will come anyway and we can all eat cake ;o)
We’d love to go too. The absolute favourite would be the Roald Dahl event as my daughter Emily is inspired by all the Roald Dahl stories from Matilda to The Enormous Crocodile 🙂
Sorry you didn’t win @nicky, it’s lovely to know your daughter loves Roald Dahl so much … a classic!
My little ones would love the James Mayhew/Claire Vuilaimy event. They LOVE James Mayhews Katie books but the whole festival sounds like a fab day out.
Sorry you didn’t win @jennifer, hope you come anyway, because it does sound wonderful.
We’d love to go too, just getting into festival swing now brochures for the Swindon Lit Fest have been released, will need to investigate Luton.
Sorry you didn’t win @Sarah, wow you are getting in the swing, check out my other festival posts under the ‘adventure’ menu because there are wonderful family music festivals around too.
I do have to agree that Clara Vulliamy was fantastic and it would be great to see her again. It is a must for me.
I will definitely check her out then @diane