BookTastic children’s book festival launches its star-studded weekend lineup

Enthralled BookTastic audience members

Calling all bookworms from Bedford and beyond, BookTastic children’s book festival has announced the line-up for its big book weekend at the Place Theatre on 9 and 10 July.

The two-day family-friendly extravaganza will see some of the biggest names in young fiction visit Bedford to read from their bestsellers and give audiences a sneak peek at their latest releases. 

Book lovers of all ages will have the chance to enjoy live Q&A sessions, creative writing workshops and even sing-a-long sessions with leading authors and illustrators – a dream weekend for young bookworms.  

The BookTastic festival kicks off at 10am on Saturday 9 July with a visit from Jamie Littler, author of the number one bestselling series – Frostheart.

Jamie will be sharing extracts from the final book in the trilogy – Frostheart – Rise of the World Eater and fans of the series can find out more about the fate of adventurous Ash and the people of the Snow Sea. 

Award-winning author and Bright Little Labs founder, Sophie Deen will then take to the stage at noon for a live reading of the latest book in her Agent Asha series – Agent Asha: Operation Cyber Chop.

Combining science fiction, computer coding and maths in a fast-paced spy adventure, Sophie’s books champion diversity, women in STEM careers and support the National Curriculum Computing programmes. 

Sophie Deen (photo: Goodreads)

Rounding off Saturday’s event will be author and illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson who will introduce young readers to her bestselling graphic novel series – Evil Emperor Penguin – which is exactly as bonkers as it sounds.

This hilarious comic collection from the author of the popular Amelia Fang series is suitable for readers aged six and over – telling the story of an evil penguin genius and his sidekick and minion, and their bid to take over the world. 

Young book lovers visiting the festival on Sunday 10 July will enjoy an exclusive visit from Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, creators of the bestselling picture book series Supertato.

Fans of the adventurous potato will be treated to a laugh-out-loud, sing-along event with readings and activities that are fun for the whole family, especially our littlest readers. Sue and Paul will also be giving audiences a glimpse of their exciting new series – I Spy Island.

Young bookworms and their families enjoying BookTastic

Next up will be Laura Dockrill, author and illustrator of the outrageous pre-school picture book Punk Rocker Poodletelling the story of a pooch with attitude who loves nothing more than to stomp and stamp. 

Closing out the BookTastic Festival will be the Poetry Picnic – a bring-your-own-biscuits interactive poetry workshop where budding young writers can learn how to create their very own poetic masterpiece – with snacks, music and games to keep you inspired and entertained. 

Rogan's Books
BookTastic Festival director, Rachael Rogan

Rachael Rogan, founder of BookTastic, said: “This year’s weekend line-up is out of this world and we are so excited to be welcoming these huge stars of children’s fiction to Bedford.

“We wanted to produce an event that would be accessible to everyone and encourage young readers to find the fun in fiction. We can’t wait to welcome book lovers of all ages to our festival this July – let the adventure begin!”

Tickets for the weekend are available from The Place Theatre in Bedford and are priced at £5 per person day or £15 for a Group ticket (2 adults and 2 children).

To find out more about Booktastic 2022, visit

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