Events were all held at Linton Village College, unless otherwise stated
Please see our Flickr feed for photos of the event.
Hundred-mile-an-hour dogs, seasick pirates and demon vacuum cleaners….where else could these characters spring from but the quirky imagination of Jeremy Strong?
Possibly influenced by falling on his head aged three and eating doughnuts, Jeremy’s books guarentee relentless laughs and direct child appeal.
Don’t miss meeting Jeremy right here in Linton!
Babar the Elephant – A Musical Story
Conductor: Nigel Bennett
A right royal musical treat for all fans of Babar, King of the Elephants!
A world premiere of original composition by local musician and composer Nigel Bennett, inspired by the much-loved storybook.
Nick Arnold – Horrible Science Author
Nick Arnold’s Horrible Science Best Bits Show will be at the Linton Children’s Book Festival on Saturday 12th May.
Nick says, “Be brave – be very brave, but not too brave – Linton has never been so horrible!”
This wacky show celebrates the best bits of the multi-award winning Horrible Science series. It consists of a range of demonstrations, readings from the books and quizzes.
The show is constantly being updated by material from the latest books, so it is never the same from one year to the next.
It is suitable for family audiences consisting of children aged 6-14 and their parents. Be prepared for fast, funny, furious and noisy!
We are delighted that Nick will also be presenting prizes to the winners of our Invention competition.
Paula Metcalf – Author / Illustrator
Paula Metcalf is an author/illustrator of children’s books living in Cambridge. She completed the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University in 2004, and is now a visiting lecturer on the same course.
During 2008, Paula was selected as the first Illustrator-in-Residence at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Buckinghamshire. During the 6 month residency, she held illustration, craft and creative writing workshops both in the Museum and in local schools. Her Norma Snows was one of 13 picture books chosen from 500 contenders, for the ITV children’s programme Bookaboo. Her story, about a highly talented anteater, was part-animated and read by Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes.
Paula will be reading her stories and getting creative with some anteater-tastic activities.
The Linton Rebellion
Sunday 6th May 11.00 – 16.00, Camping Close, Linton
In the summer of 1648, England was at war and Colchester lay under siege.
The people of Cambridgeshire rose in rebellion to save the hard-pressed City.
They mustered in Linton, not knowing that the war would soon come to them.
It may be hard to believe but a shots were fired in the streets and fields of Linton on that summer day!
Join The Linton Rebellion and experience for yourself the roar of gunfire and the smoke of the campfire.
There will be lots of hands-on activities for adults and children
Learn how to be a soldier from 1648 and take part in Pike & Musket drill.
Meet the bodger as he turns wood on pole-lathe to make munitions.
Talk to the blacksmith as he casts musket balls for the soldiers.
Meet Matthew Ward from Horrible Histories who played William the Conqueror and many other roles in three series of the popular TV show.
Brought to Linton by The English Civil War Society and Sir William Pennyman’s Regiment 1643.net take this chance to travel back in time to 1648, as you are unlikely to see anything like this on Camping Close again!
Nick Coffer – TV Chef
Nick Coffer created mydaddycooks.com when he was a stay-at-home dad to his son Archie in 2009. The videos of their cooking adventures led to a best selling family cookbook, also called My Daddy Cooks. Nick appears regularly on TV and radio and presents Nick Coffer’s Weekend Kitchen every Saturday at midday on BBC Three Counties Radio.
We were thrilled that Nick came to Linton, cooking up simple family favourites (with Archie alongside him!) and getting other kids and dads involved in the show too. Naturally he was signing books afterwards too! We all enjoyed the mess, chaos, lots of fun – and some brilliant recipe ideas!
We are delighted that Nick will also be presenting prizes to the winners of our Invention competition.
Pauline Francis – Historical Fiction Author
‘Like mother, like daughter?’ What is it like to grow up knowing that your mother (Anne Boleyn) has been executed for alleged adultery? What happens if you are seen kissing your stepfather? This is the moment of truth for the young Elizabeth. How far is she prepared to go to save her reputation – and her life? Traitor’s Kiss is Pauline Francis’s third young adult novel (following Raven Queen and A World Away) which examines difficult moments in the lives of sixteenth century characters – famous and infamous.
Pauline says, “I dislike the way that history sets its characters in stone. I want my readers to go away thinking that my characters are as complex and as interesting as people today.” This was an event enjoyed by children aged 11 to adult. There was plenty of time for questions and audience discussion.
Anthony Irvin – African Adventures Author
Ever wondered what crocodile tastes like? New author Anthony Irvin spent twenty years as a vet in Africa and has canoed among hippos, camped among elephants, climbed Africa’s highest mountain, and photographed a rhino in his pyjamas.
We found out about the people and stories that inspired him to write the African Safari Adventures.
Tony Mitton – Children’s Poet
Well known and well loved, Tony Mitton made a welcome return to Linton. He performed some of his poetry and talked about writing to inspire budding poets!
He had some laughs for parents too.
Andy Cope – Spy Dog Author
Calling all dog and spy dog lovers! We are sooooo excited that SPY DOG herself, Lara, and her owner Andrew Cope will be visiting Linton to share details of Lara’s next top secret mission.
Andrew Cope is the author of the best-selling children’s series Spy Dog and Spy Pups. He talks enthusiastically about reading and writing as well as offering insights into what life is like as an author.
The ‘Spy Dog’ series has sold in excess of a million copies worldwide. ‘Spy Dog’ won the Redhouse Children’s Book of the Year as well as scooping the prestigious Richard and Judy award for the 7+ category. The books have been translated into 14 languages and ‘Spy Dog’ was chosen to be the 2011 World Book Day title.
Andrew’s talks are full of humour and energy. He often goes beyond reading and writing into themes of personal potential and always tries to inspire children to do their very best in life.
You may even be able to persuade him to talk about Lara’s next top secret mission! Suitable for children and their families, but four-legged friends should stay at home!
Catherine Condie – E-Books Author
Self-published author Catherine Condie talks about her books for children, taking a fresh look at writing, editing and publishing in the light of e-books and print on demand, and the opportunities for marketing these across the globe.
Born in Cambridge, Catherine Condie trained as a business linguist at Anglia Ruskin University and has worked in corporate communication, public relations, an in-house writer and magazine editor.
Now working in business development and marketing, Catherine launched her books Whirl of the Wheel and The Switch, as e-books before publishing them in paperback.
This session is suitable for anyone interested in writing or publishing stories.
Tom Palmer – Children’s Author
Organised in conjunction with the AZTECS Junior Football Club, popular author Tom Palmer will be attending the end of season presentation event on 19th May and is really looking forward to meeting all those football-mad children.
Tom will be hosting his popular Football Reading Game – half football reading quiz and half penalty shoot-out!
You’d be mad to miss it.
Tommy Donbavand – Scream Street Author
Vampire vs Werewolves Game Show
We are delighted that award-winning children’s author, Tommy Donbavand will be coming to our Festival. Tommy is best known as the author of the Scream Street series, but has written plenty of other books as well! Scream Street is a series of 13 comedy horror novels that tell the tale of Luke Watson, who, after he begins to change into a werewolf, causes his family to be moved to Scream Street – a secure location for vampires, zombies, monsters and more.
Written for children aged 7+, these books will appeal to those reluctant boy readers and those who can’t get enough of the Halloween fun…..
It’s howls vs growls as Tommy Donbavand splits the audience in two and runs a series of fast-paced, anarchic games based on the spooky relics in his Scream Street series.
It’s blood-curdling fun for children, at the Linton Village College in May!
Rebecca Patterson – Author & Illustrator
Cambridge resident Rebecca Patterson was inspired to write children’s books by her two children, watching them do things like leaping off their bunk bed and jumping into the swimming pool with their classmates.
Her first two books The Deep End and Not On A School Night were published last year and her third book, The Pirate House, is coming out this summer.
In Linton, Rebecca will bring some props, read from her books, and intersperse the readings with chat and funny stories. She would love to hear the children’s stories too! Suitable for children aged 2 – 5.
A Thousand Cranes presents
Tales from Old Japan
“Mountains are just like people – they have secrets, mysteries and stories to tell”. Come and hear the enchanting, mysterious and hair-raising stories of Magnificent Mount Iwate who blew hot and cold, the humble woodcutter and his beautiful but strange bride and the snorting, burping ‘orrible Ogre of Rashomon Gate.
These delightful traditional Japanese tales are brought to life through inventive storytelling, puppetry and music. Performed by Kumiko Mendl and Directed by Vicky Ireland. For children aged 4+ and their families.
Rebecca Merry – Illustrator
Painter and illustrator Rebecca Merry retells her story The Golden Apple, a story of kindness, friendship and a magic apple, using paper cutouts in the tradition of children’s paper theatre.There will be free entry to The Spotted Giraffe for all those coming to hear Rebecca. There will be an opportunity to colour and cut out your own paper character after the story-telling session.Rebecca originally trained in Fine Art in Bristol and went on to complete an MA at the Royal College of Art in 1991. She has also just completed an MA in Children’s Book Illustration from the highly acclaimed course at Anglia Ruskin University’s Cambridge School of Art, and was recently selected for the Association of Illustrators (AOI) – Images 36: the Best of New British Illustration.As well as the story-telling event, a selection of Rebecca’s illustrations will be on display at the Darryl Nantais Gallery in Linton High Street during the book festival.See more about Rebecca here.
Arco Iris – Samba Drumming Workshop
Brought you you in partnership with the Cambridge Summer Music Festival, Arco Iris plays the very hottest (and loudest!) of Brazilian carnival rhythms. Their performances range from glittering carnivalparades and storming club appearances to local charity events, private parties, and music festivals.
The band is taking part in The Big Weekend in Cambridge on Saturday 7th July and is looking for some children to join in the fun. If you would like to learn some basic Samba rhythms and are free on Saturday 7th July, please join our workshop.
Helen Moss – Author, Dinosaur Detectives
The Mystery of the Dinosaur Discovery is one of two new additions to the exciting Adventure Island series by Helen Moss.
When Scott, Jack, Emily and Drift the dog discover fossilized bones at the old quarry, the young investigators soon realize they are dealing with a whole new species and some very clever criminals!
Helen will talk about why she loves dinosaurs, how she came up with the idea for The Mystery of the Dinosaur Discovery (Lisa Simpson and David Attenborough both played a part!) and why solving a mystery is just like being a scientist.
Packed with fascinating facts about real-life dinosaur discoveries, and insights into mystery writing, this will be an interactive session, with lots of opportunities for children to ask questions and talk about their ideas.
We’ll even be ‘discovering’ and naming a brand new species of dinosaur of our own! Suitable for 7-12 year olds.
Colin Fleetwood – Why is it So?
Colin believes that science is the ideal vehicle for making learning fun.
Children love active learning and science is ideally placed to give them what they want.
Despite being so old, Colin has never lost the ‘inner child’ that is fascinated by the world we live in and what makes it work.
He is currently learning how to ride a unicycle in preparation for a circum-navigation of the globe on one wheel when he retires!
John McCambridge – Comic Book & Video Game Illustrator
John says, “Ever since I was a wee boy living back in Ireland, I loved to draw. Growing up in the wild countryside of Ireland, I was surrounded by legends and stories of fairies and ancient mythical warriors. Years later, I feel very lucky that I turned my childhood passion into my job and still have as much fun now as a man, creating creatures such as dragons, monsters, heroic knights and warriors for comic books and video games.
John is going to show you how to draw your own dragon. Going back to basics, with simple shapes, he’ll break down into easy steps how to go about creating your own beautiful or terrifying dragon. You decide, you’re the artist!
John works digitally, using a Wacom drawing tablet on a computer, but the same steps apply to drawing on paper, so don’t worry if you don’t have all the computer equipment. The goal is to be creative and have fun! Suitable for ages 10+
Lynne Chapman – Children’s Book Illustrator
Bubbly Lynne Chapman has been a best-selling author and illustrator for well over 20 years. Just look through your children’s bookshelves and you are bound to find some of her work.
She says, “writers and illustrators spend far too long in the company of their computer or drawing board, so I love it when I get the chance to escape to the real world and meet the children that read my books.
Lynne hosts a lively session of storytelling and illustration. Can you guess what it is she is drawing? Singing and silliness are part of the mix and there will also be a chance for the children to create their own illustrations.