Roll up, roll up for fun-filled fiction as Booktastic Family Festival returns this Sunday

school children attending BookTastic 2022 react to a reading by one of the visiting authors
Children's reactions at last year's BookTastic Festival in Bedford. Image: BookTastic

This weekend, the annual BookTastic Family Festival will return to Bedford, welcoming some of the biggest names in children’s literature to Bedford Academy’s theatre to entertain and inspire young and reluctant readers.

Designed to promote the importance of literacy and instil a love of reading in children from all socio-economic backgrounds, BookTastic has arranged an exciting celebration of fun-filled fiction which will take place at Bedford Academy this Sunday (19 November).

Former BookTrust Writer-Illustrator in Residence, Sarah McIntyre (Pugs of the Frozen North) and Carnegie Medal-winning author and illustrator, Philip Reeve (Mortal Engines; Here Lies Arthur) will take to the stage for an exclusive interactive workshop based on the bestselling Adventuremice series that they created together.

Children from selected schools from across the county have been invited to attend the event, but the day is primarily aimed at families, with the intention of giving young readers the chance to experience the magic of books and encouraging families to enjoy reading together.

The BookTastic Family Festival is always a hugely popular event and this weekend’s festival has already had to move to the 350-seat Bedford Academy theatre due to the high demand for tickets.

Children attending the event will be able to enjoy a full day of storytelling and illustration workshops with Sarah and Philip and will also have the opportunity to meet the authors and have their books signed.

Sarah McIntyre and Phillip Reeve (image: BookTastic)

Rachael Rogan, Founder of BookTastic, said: “It is crucial for children to develop a genuine love of reading when research has indicated that this is the gateway to literacy.

“BookTastic creates spaces that allow these formative experiences to take place and it is important to make this accessible to all children, regardless of their background. I am so excited to share this year’s brilliant line-up and am ever grateful for the support of our fantastic authors, illustrators and partners.”

BookTastic founder, Rachel Rogan. (Image: Booktastic)

Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve are delighted to be returning to Bedford.

“We really enjoyed our visit to Bedford for the Booktastic schools events in July, which were a great opportunity to meet and inspire young readers,” they said.

“We could clearly see the joy on the children’s faces as they got excited about reading and storytelling. We’re hugely looking forward to sharing our books, drawing sessions, and story-building games with family audiences too. Huge thanks to the Booktastic team for all the hard work they put into making this fabulous event happen!’

There is still time to join in the fun, with a limited number of tickets still available. Visit to book your place, or to find out more about supporting the BookTastic project.

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