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Aderin-Pocock, Maggie - c. Lovelight
Aderin-Pocock, Maggie - Dr Maggie's Gran
Balding, Clare - c.Owen James Vincent
Out of this World Festival for Little Bookworms

Clare Balding, Andy Stanton, Conn Iggulden and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock headline Ilkley Literature Festival’s Children’s Festival.

Ilkley Literature Festival is renowned for its prestigious literary line-up, and young bookworms can also expect to see some of the country's best children’s authors during this year's event.

Designed for young minds aged 3-12, there's a host of free drop-in family events, book trails, interactive storytelling and writing workshops on offer.

The Children’s Festival runs alongside the flagship Ilkley Literature Festival from Saturday 12 to Sunday 20 October.

If you’ve ever been stumped by a child’s questions on where does space end, BBC Four’s Sky at Night presenter Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock comes to the rescue. Dr Maggie’s Grand Tour of the Solar System offers children aged eight plus a fascinating insight into the Universe

From stars in their eyes to adventures closer to Earth, Conn Iggulden follows up his huge bestseller, The Dangerous Book for Boys, with Doubly Dangerous! The new compendium provides a treasure-trove of adventurous activities designed to inspire children and families to switch off their telly and go and do something more interesting instead.

Clare Balding will talk about her popular pony adventures with The Racehorse Who Learned to Dance, and Andy Stanton – the award-winning bestselling author of the Mr Gum series - promises an afternoon of ludicrous characters and outrageous escapades.

Erica Morris, Acting Director of Ilkley Literature Festival, said: “Our Children’s Festival is always a treat. Books and words are a gateway into different worlds and this is particularly demonstrated this year as many events explore space and discovery, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing. Whether our authors switch on future space scientists or inspire young adventurers, our line up aims to match children’s bottomless curiosity and sense of wonder.”

The packed programme also invites children to see how they measure up to ginormous deadly dinosaurs, puts their detective skills to the test with Fabio the Flamingo Detective, and introduces them to the mischief of Bad Nana. Children can also dive into Ted Hughes’ classic tale The Iron Man with the illustrator of a stunning new edition, Chris Mould.

The festival is also excited to announce a  new event to this years line up, ‘Performing Comedy: A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ will explore one of Shakespeare’s most popular and influential plays at All Saints Church on 5 October.  Led by University of Leeds academics Dr José A. Pérez Díez and Dr Jane Rickard, the session will showcase how we can learn new things about Shakespeare’s plays experimenting with different possibilities for staging. The event includes the chance to take part in improvised performances.  

The full programme is available at

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