Collaborative Post. I wanted to share our experiences of going to the Edinburgh Book Festival before it's over for another year...

Edinburgh Book Festival 2019 (so far!)

Sunday, August 18, 2019 BookBairn 1 Comments

Collaborative Post.

I wanted to share our experiences of going to the Edinburgh Book Festival before it's over for another year so that if you are on the fence about booking something you might be persuaded as to how much fun it can be for a family day out! There's still over a week left to go of fun book events for kids and grown ups alike. You can find a full list of events over on the Edinburgh Book Festival website but I also made a handy list of all the events that I thought look fabulous (basically we would go to them all if our budget, time and kids allowed!) that all still had tickets available when I last checked - it also had lots of tips for planning a trip to the festival.

But less about that and more about what we got up to in the last week of events!

Firstly we went down on the opening day of the festival, and much to everyone's surprise (including the Met Office) it was brilliantly sunny! As we arrived just in time for our ticketed event we pretty much joined the queue straight away and got settled in our seats to see the incomparable Julia Donaldson and the wonderfully talented Catherine Rayner share a dramatisation of their new book The Go Away Bird. Both my kids were completely captivated! But the star of the show was when Julia and her team acted out (complete with puppets and costumes) her most fabulous book The Gruffalo (which is celebrating it's 20th anniversary this year). It was brilliant! And The Wee Page Turner has been truly hypnotised by the magic of it. As proof, since we saw the show last Saturday, we have downloaded the Gruffalo audiobook and listened to it countless times as well as read our now signed copy at least three times a day. So much so that he knows many of the words and BookBairn can recite the whole thing by heart! We have also watched The Gruffalo short film daily of Netflix. He has acquired my old classroom Gruffalo toy, some Gruffalo wellies and clothing, and he carries the Gruffalo everywhere with him. This to me demonstrates the power of seeing a book performed, meeting an author or illustrator or if you are really lucky (and we were but alas not close enough to get a photo) meeting a character!

For our second visit BookBairn and I went down just the two of us for a girls day, meeting Gma BookBairn too. Unfortunately the weather was not on our side and it was lashing with rain but BookBairn still had so much fun. Again we arrived just in time for our first event of the day with the wonderful Sophy Henn (if you don't know BookBairn and I are Sophy's biggest fans and you can find some of our previous posts fangirling over her books here) and heard her talk about her new book Super Duper You as well as some old favourites, including Pass it On and then we got to do some great crafts and activities as well as meet Sophy afterwards and get our new book signed to add to our collection. 

We then browsed the new children's bookshop book tent. In previous years they had a separate tent for children and grown-up bookshops but this year it has been opened up with one large tent comprising both and a small cafe in the middle. We perused the shelves and selected a new Isadora Moon book to immediately start reading (more on Isadora shortly). And we popped to the children's play area and craft tent to take part in some of the Very Hungry Caterpillar crafts that were happening that day - this craft tent has different activities every day (sometimes the same thing runs over two days) and is completely free! So if you live locally and just want to pop in and soak up the atmosphere without attending a booked event there is plenty of opportunity to do so.

We popped back after a lunch date in McDonalds (which is just around the corner) and a trip to Ever Ever After Disney Shop (not so close by but well worth a visit) to settle in for another event with Ross Collins who shared his newest title This is a Dog as well as one of our favourites I am a Tiger. Packed full of giggles and humour and a bit of a drawing lesson, this one was also great fun.

I then went down to a couple of grown-up events about the power of illustration and picture books as pathways into literacy both of which were very interesting and I enjoyed hearing the authors and illustrators speak on the topic. I also enjoyed some child-free browsing in the bookshop tent and was very restrained with my book purchases (so far!). I also got to meet the brilliant Harriet Muncaster who writes the Isadora Moon books and brings to life for children the magic of that world when they meet her. As I mentioned before meeting an author or illustrator can add an extra bit of magic for children, and although BookBairn wasn't with me when I met her, she still has some lovely signed books that we have read cover to cover already! I got the chance to meet up with fellow KidsBookstagrammer @thepicturebookbox and talk all things books. In fact, I told her that the Edinburgh Book Festival is my Glastonbury! Which is so true!

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I had the pleasure of spending a full hour in the @edbookfest book tent yesterday evening. It’s no wonder that even though it’s only open for one month it is one of the most successful independent bookshops in the UK. They have so many incredible books! You know that I love browsing for what I call #bookshoptreasures which are books that I’ve spotted and simply can’t justify buying at that moment in time but want to keep a note of for future book splurges. And the Garden bookshop tent, this year a combined adult and children’s bookshop, had so much treasure. My rule of book festival shopping is to only buy books that I can get signed by the authors or illustrators or something that is available pre-publication date. Otherwise I would buy everything! I also love to hunt out some of the less mainstream books - there are lots of great ones and they are wonderful but I feel one of the things I like to highlight on my feed are ones that you might not otherwise come across. This is probably the first of two posts as there were so so many good ones! I would be interested to know how you budget for books. Do you budget? Do you buy strategically or on a whim? Do you have a wish list? Believe it or not I actually budget what we buy and I have a strategy for spending that budget too! We are lucky to get sent books from publishers (though I would argue that I work quite hard to review as many as we can and have spent almost four years building up BookBairn to have a reputation to be worth sending books to but I’ll save that for a different little post!) but we also buy quite a lot ourselves so I do try to strategise! But at book festival time the book budget usually gets smashed to smithereens! #bookbrowsing #bookbrowsingfun #tobuy #bookshopping #bookwant #picturebook #childrensbook #kidsbook #kidsbookblogger #babybookblog #kidsbookstagram #kidbookstagram #yeskidsbookstagram #want #booktobuy #kidlit
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There's still time to get tickets for lots of events or pop into to some of the free drop-in activities in the craft tent - BookBairn and I still have tickets booked for two more events and will be going to the Elmer craft session as well as the Going on a Bear Hunt one. And as I said in my Instagram post linked above the bookshop book tent is one of the best independent bookshops in the country and has lots and lots of signed books to pick up too so it's well worth a visit on it's own merit!

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. This all sounds so much fun. Maybe I can join you next year.
    PS - “Fangirling”?