BookTastic Children’s Book Festival begins and there’s still time to take part

Festival founder, Rachael Rogan, kicked off the event this morning (photo: BookTastic Bedford Instagram)

The 2022 BookTastic children’s book festival begins today, with a week of exciting events designed to inspire young readers in Bedford and beyond.

Festival organiser, Rachael Rogan kicked off the festival today (Monday) with live-streamed readings and talks from Michael Mann, author of the Ghostcloud series and Laura Ellen Anderson, creator of the bestselling Rainbow Grey series.

Tomorrow (Tuesday 5 July), Putnoe Primary School will play host to two huge names in children’s fiction for live, in-person readings.

Tolá Okogwo will give pupils a sneak peek at her new, smash-hit novel Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun before its release as a Netflix movie later this year. Sophie Henn will then treat the audience to a reading from her bestselling superhero series Pizazz Vs The Demons.

Tọlá Okogwu is one of the authors taking part in the 2022 Booktastic festival.

On Wednesday, BookTastic returns online for a day of live-streamed activities including appearances from Louie Stowell – Loki – A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good and Jamie Smarts – Bunny vs Monkey series.

On Thursday 7 July, Scott Primary School will welcome award-winning writer Vashti Hardy, author of the bestselling Brightstorm series for a reading from the latest book in her Harley Hitch series – Harley Hitch and the Missing Moon. In the afternoon, AF Steadman will take to the stage to read from the book everyone is talking about – Skandar and the Unicorn Thief.

An online-only event will take place on Friday 8 July, featuring special guests Zanib Mian – Planet Omar: Ultimate Rocket Blast and Ross Montgomery – The Chime Seekers.

Weekend extravaganza

The BookTastic festival will then close in spectacular style with the Big Book Weekend on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July – a two-day extravaganza, held at The Place Theatre, where families can come along to see some of the nation’s leading authors and illustrators and enjoy a weekend of reading, Q&As, interactive workshops and sing-a-long sessions.

The all-star line-up of writers appearing at this year’s BookTastic weekend festival includes Jamie Littler, author of the smash-hit Frostheart series; Sophie Deen, creator of the Agent Asha series, bestselling graphic novel and Amelia Fang creator Laura Ellen Anderson; and the writers of the fan favourite Supertato series, Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet.

Sophie Deen

The Poetry Picnic will be closing out the BookTastic Festival – a bring-your-own-biscuits interactive poetry workshop.

BookTastic will be live-tweeting from all of the events and schools and young readers can tune in to all the live-streamed sessions. I

f you have something you’d love to ask one of our authors, be sure to submit your questions to

To find out more, to register your school for a livestream licence or to book tickets, email or visit

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