Image credit: Edinburgh Book Festival. Collaborative post. My favourite time of year is rapidly approaching! It's almost Augus...

Planning for the Edinburgh Book Festival

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 BookBairn 1 Comments

Image credit: Edinburgh Book Festival.

Collaborative post.

My favourite time of year is rapidly approaching! It's almost August which means it's almost time for the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Honestly I just adore it! But after several years of going to the book festival, well since I was a little girl and my mum took me, I wanted to share my experience and tips for arranging a trip.

This is how much I love the Book Festival! 2016

Why I Love the Ed Book Fest

Image credit: Edinburgh Book Festival.

The atmosphere! For me it's hard to beat a lovely sunny summer's day in a garden surrounded by books and bookworms like me. It's such a buzz. Everyone who is there is there because they also love books. Writers, illustrators, book fans, it's such a great community spirit. And the garden is set out with deck chairs and picnic tables and ice cream so you can while away whole mornings, afternoons and evenings sitting in the sunshine with your new book that you've conveniently just picked up and had signed by the author in the bookshop.

BookBairn in the Children's Book Tent 2018.

The book tents. As you know I love a children's book! And at the Edinburgh Book Festival they set up book tent bookshops one of which is entirely dedicated to selling children's books with shelves overflowing with thousands of titles. And this year there is going to be a huge children's and adult tents combined with a cafe in the middle! This is like book heaven for me. There is such a buzz around the shop with children and families browsing, reading aloud and enjoying the books. There are so many books to choose from and they have a few shelves dedicated to the extra signed copies that authors from previous days events have signed extras. You also often get an early copy of a book that is yet to be released because the author is appearing at the festival. 

Meeting Sophy Henn (again) at the Book Festival 2018.

Meeting authors and illustrators. I am such a fangirl when it comes to meeting authors and illustrators. It's hard to explain to non-book-people (which I'm assuming you probably aren't as you're on a book blog) but as a reader you spend a lot of time in the worlds and with the characters that authors and illustrators have created and to meet them gives you an extension to that world. It's to gaze in wonder at the wizard who brought magic to life for you in the pages of their books. And that for me is an incredible thrill. To get them to sign your books and write a short dedication or for an illustrator to create a personal doodle makes your copy of the book uniquely yours and therefore a much-prized possession.

BookBairn at Book Festival 2017.

BookBairn at Emma Yarlett's Nibbles event 2017.

The events. Not only can you meet authors and illustrators in the book tents to get your book signed, you can also attend events where they share their books, discuss them or other bookish topics, you get the opportunity to ask questions, children get to take part in crafts and learn to draw from real-life illustrators. It's a once in a lifetime sort of experience. There are also lots of free events in the children's Story Box tent themed on different books where they can do crafts and draw and dance and have a jolly good time. And we love it!

How I Plan for the Ed Book Fest

As this is the highlight of my year I take planning it very seriously. First I wait for the catalogue to drop on my doormat and then I get a large cup of tea and a marker pen and circle all the things that I want to do. Then I pencil them all on blank calendar so I can see the shape of the days - I try to plan several events on one day or book to go to an event on a day when I know we can pop back to the bookshop later to get another of our books signed by an author, as it's an hour's journey for us I like to try and make a day of it! And then I join the online queue on day one to book things. If you haven't booked anything yet you will find there are quite a few events which are now sold out but there are still lots which have tickets available and I've collated a list below of things which appealed to me from the children's list that still have tickets available (at time of writing).

My Top Book Fest Recommendations

Image credit: Edinburgh Book Festival.

I've listed below some things that are still available (at time of writing) some of which are things we have booked to go to as well - so we might see you there! I haven't put descriptions on them as there are too many to do that but you can just click the titled link to find out more. I have put on the recommended age range as stated on the website to save you looking at things aimed for readers older/younger than your kids and I've marked the free drop-in events that you don't need a ticket for - some of these are over several days so you might want to check for additional dates that might suit you better. There are also far more events left than listed here - think of this as a BookBairn's highlights list! In short, I hope this helps!

50 Years of The Very Hungry Caterpillar - free drop in, all ages

Story Detectives on the Trail of a Tale families and 7+ (I worked with Fergus of Macastory when I was a teacher in Edinburgh and he is brilliant - no one could keep an assembly of children as captivated as he could - and one of the loveliest people!) 

Giraffes Can't Dance for 25 Years - free drop in, all ages

30 Years of Elmer the Elephant - free drop in, all ages

Sensory Storytelling Spectacular - free drop in, all ages

Harry Potter Party families and 7+

Going on a Bear Hunt - free drop in, all ages

You can read about all fun we had last year at the book festival over on our blog post from last year and you can certainly expect a blog post this year sharing some of the numerous events that we are going to.

And we hope to see you there! If you do spot my bookish face, see hello! Unless my nose is well and truly buried in my new books! (Because you know there will be new books!)

Happy Book Festival!!
Kim and the bairns xx

Disclaimer: we have been gifted tickets to three events at the Edinburgh Book Festival in collaboration for sharing this post and sharing all the fun we get up to on our days out. We have also bought several tickets for events ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. I can sense your excitement is mounting. That’s a great list of events in your plan. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the festival.