Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman
By Francesca Simon
This book has four different stories about Henry and the types of tricks he is always trying to play on people. Henry is a horrid little boy who is always trying to get what he wants in any way he can. His victims are often Moody Margaret and his brother Perfect Peter. Perfect Peter always falls for Henry’s tricks, but Margaret fights with Henry all the time. Peter tries to get back at Henry for his tricks but does not succeed. I like this book because it’s exciting and funny. I don’t like the bit in the first chapter when Henry goes outside at night because it creeps me out and makes me feel cold. But I do like the way Susan and Margaret are close friends and work together to defeat Henry. Horrid Henry proves that he does not learn his lessons and that he does not regret his mistakes. I found it very funny to imagine how he made Kate and Soraya look, but thought it was very bad that he put glue in their hair. Chapter four is the funniest as Henry pretends he is being attacked by a nappy!
Reviewed by Maya Makhoul, aged six.
Find out more about this horrid boy who acts on impulse and has no fear of any consequences in a lively, must-see session with creator Francesca Simon and Steven Butler, who starred as Horrid Henry in the stage show.
Saturday March 12, 3pm-4pm.
By Michael Morpurgo
I loved reading Shadow because the story is so imaginative. It’s all about a 14-year-old boy called Matt who goes to stay with his grandfather in Cambridge. His grandfather tells him all about his friend, Aman from Afghanistan, who is locked away with his mother in a ‘prison type of place’ by the government and is to be sent back to Afghanistan. Aman has had a terrible life back in Afghanistan. His father was killed by the Taliban, he lived in a cave for most of his life, his grandmother died, the Taliban stole all of the jewels that she had hidden safely away in her mattress. We also learn all about how he and his mother embarked on their dangerous journey to England. My favourite part of the story was when Matt holds a protest for Aman to be taken out of the ‘prison’ and to be left in peace. But my favorite character is Shadow (Polly) the dog because she helped Aman through many troubles in his journey to England. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dramatic stories, although it can be a bit depressing. Shadow has definitely made me want to read more of Michael Morpurgo’s books!
Reviewed by Kate Mullan, aged 11.
The UK’s 2003 Children’s Laureate is well known for his ability to tell stories set during serious periods of historical crisis, bringing them to life for today’s children. A not-to-be-missed session for budding historians.
Saturday, March 12, 10.30am-11.30am.
The Demon Headmaster
By Gillian Cross
The Demon Headmaster was an amazing book. I enjoyed every second of it and just couldn’t put it down. It felt as if I was in the school with the SPLAT group fighting against the headmaster. I read the first page and that got me hooked immediately. The story is gripping and my favourite character is the heroine, Dinah, as she is so determined. The suspense is great too and I liked the vivid descriptions because they brought the story to life. It all begins when Dinah is fostered by the Hunter family. When she goes to her new school, she realises that something odd is going on. The pupils are too organised. They never muck about and they even work through playtime. Dinah decides to investigate, and that’s when the fun begins. The question is, will it end in trouble or success? Honestly, I can’t wait to finish the series and uncover all the mysteries (there are four books to read). I would definitely recommend this to anyone who seeks a gripping, fun and mysterious, read!
Review by Hayat Brannelly, aged 11.
Gillian Cross: The author of more than 40 children’s books, enjoy two sessions with Gillian Cross, the second focusing specifically on The Demon Headmaster.
Friday, March 11, 5pm-6pm and Saturday, March 12, Noon-1pm.
Grubtown tales: Splash, Crash and Loads of Cash
By Philip Ardagh
This book is one of a series about Grubtown. I read it very quickly because it’s easy to read and I enjoyed the stories. They are funny and interesting because the characters are very silly and do incredibly daft things. My favourite character is Mango Claptrap because he is quick-thinking and always comes up with good ideas. When Flabby Gomez, the Mayor of Grubtown, Furl Claptrap, Mango Claptrap and Lefty Scorn all go sailing on the Lazy Suzy, the boat sinks because of a hole that’s not mended properly. Flabby Gomez is rather flabby so floats rather well, so Mango tells the other two to use him as a lifeboat and sit on top of him. There are silly times like when a shark comes and tries to attack the boat, but Furl fights it off with Lazy Suzy’s nameplate, which has been stuck on the boat with water-dissolving glue! Another silly bit is when the
man who was supposed to fix the leaky fuel tank on the helicopter decides it’s easier to paint a little arrow on the fuel gauge that pointed to full all the time – how silly is that? I haven’t mentioned how Free Kick, the intelligent rat, helps with a rescue, or any of the other funny bits that happen. You’ll have to read the book to find out about them.
I hadn’t read any of these books before but I’m glad that I have now and I will try to read the others. I would tell my friends to read this book if they wanted to read something funny.
Reviewed by Josh Paul, aged eight.
From Dickens and Dahl to the Mayor of Grubtown don’t miss this silly session with Philip Ardagh
Saturday March 12, 1.30pm-2.30pm.
By Emily Gravett
The first page of this book says ‘I love dogs’ and I love dogs too. Dogs are funny. There are lots of funny pictures of dogs in this book and the narrator is trying to work out which type of dog she likes best. There are scruffy dogs, brown ones, fluffy ones and white ones. I wish I could draw pictures of dogs like this. It’s a very clever book because at the end you find out the narrator is a cat. I couldn’t decide which dog I liked most of all and I don’t think that the cat could either.
Reviewed by Anna Bourke, aged five.
See how this award-winning author-illustrator brings her characters to life with lots of artistic tips and hilarious characters.
Friday March 11, 3pm-4pm.
By Anthony Brown
This book makes me think of my daddy. It’s very funny. There’s a silly picture of a daddy making a funny face on the cover. The pictures are cool – I found Little Red Riding Hood and the three little pigs hiding in the background of one picture. The daddy in the book pretends to be a fish, a horse and a monkey heaving up weights. On the last page there’s a picture of a daddy and a little boy. I think it looks like me and my daddy.
Reviewed by Will Bourke, aged four.
Bring out the artist in your child with the endlessly talented Children’s Laureate. Join Anthony Browne for a fabulously creative session during which you’ll learn how to tell stories through pictures.
Friday March 11, 10am-11am.
The Lit Fest is packed to the gills with facscinating authors and great activities for kids. We also recommend:
Discover Arabia and Make Some Noise!
Learn all about the culture, customs and wonders of Arabia through catchy rhymes and dance in a series of activities developed by author, composer and teacher Yousef Khan. This fun and interactive session will use greetings, numbers and traditions to draw on a medley of subjects, with music the principal learning tool. It’s a playful way to help children identify with the Gulf region, learn about Islam and celebrate the history and diversity of the UAE.
Friday, March 11, 1.30pm-2.30pm.
With a literary and broadcasting career spanning more than 40 years, Roger McGough is one of the UK’s best loved authors – and he’s hugely entertaining. Fans of this prolific, Liverpudlian poet have two chances to hear him.
Friday, March 11, 6pm-7pm and Saturday, March 12 4.30-5.30pm
Celebrate 10 years of Artemis Fowl with a fiendishly talented author and performer.
Friday, March 11, 4.30pm-5.30pm
The Time Out Kids Zone
Get stuck into tons of free fun activities for kids – all aimed to encourage creativity and imagination. Meet top ted Elliott the Bear, on hand with his colouring pads, and available for some serious paw-shaking. Design your own Time Out Kids badge, which those clever people at Drawings By Me (who are experts and turning kids’ art into all sorts of useful gear) will transform into a funky button on the spot! There’ll be loads of games and lively story-telling sessions to entertain the tots, plus a chance to take part in the Shape Game – where we’ll be asking kids to design their own cool creature from the blobby shape below. You’re limited only by your imagination!
Friday and Saturday, 10am-5pm.