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The Cheltenham Literature Festival

By PeterC on 22nd August 2008

  BOOK IT! The Festival for Families & Young Readers 10-19 October 2008 The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival returns with Book It!, a programme of highly acclaimed and hugely popular events designed specifically for children.  Darcey Bussell, Charlie Higson, Harry Hill, Jacqueline Wilson, Anne Fine and Eoin Colfer and are just some of the highlights in this year’s programme, which includes a host of household names in the most exciting and varied programme to date. As Charlie Higson celebrates all things 007 and Harry Hill showcases his greatest jokes, Book It! is also thrilled to welcome not one but four children’s laureates both past and present.  Anne Fine, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo and Michael Rosen will share their celebrated poems and best-loved titles, while Eoin Colfer will be opening the door to the latest jaw-dropping adventure of Artemis Fowl in is his own inimitable fashion! This year’s Book It! is privileged to welcome world-famous and recently retired ballerina Darcey Bussel on her first visit to Cheltenham.  Not only will children discover the brand new Magic Ballerina series, but aspiring ballerinas should prepare to don their tutus as they will have the opportunity to practise ballet steps from the world of Enchantia. Book It! 2008 welcomes more illustrators than ever before.  Three of the UK’s most innovative illustrators – Polly Dunbar, Emily Gravett and David Lucas – will be giving a unique insight into the world of picture books at The Big Picture family event, and much loved illustrator Michael Foreman will join Michael Morpurgo to talk about their latest venture: Kaspar: Prince of Cats.  See Dennis the Menace come to life before your eyes in a workshop with Beano illustrator Barrie Appleby, or for something a little gorier, join Tony de Saulles – the incredible illustrator of the sensational Horrible Science series – as he reveals the secrets to drawing bulging brains and all things gruesome! For the ubiquitous Harry Potter fan, there will be the opportunity to join Barry Cunningham - the publisher who famously discovered JK Rowling – Amanda Craig and new talent Emily Diamand, who will help budding young authors determine the magic ingredients that go into writing a successful children’s novel of their own.  However for something more hands-on, Top Gear fans out there are in for a treat; don’t miss the high-octane Scalextrics racing event – there are prizes to be won! This year’s Breaking The Rules strand – targeted toward teenagers – will see authors Meg Rossoff, Mal Peet and Louise Rennison amongst others discuss topics such as the pop-culture of celebrity and football, and friendship and betrayal.  Younger bookworms can join Captain Pugwash, Peter Rabbit and Angelina Ballerina, or practise their “ROARRRRRR” with Ian Whybrow, the creator of Harry and the Dinosaurs. For the more hands-on book lovers, a variety of Write On! workshops for ages ranging from 6-16 will be available.  Whether it be producing dinosaur pop-ups, creating your own animated character or even creating your own screenplay – there is something for everyone to get their teeth stuck into at this year’s Book It!

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