STREAM, Streatham & Clapham High School’s annual Children’s Book Festival, took place on Saturday, 5 November. Audiences – both parents and children – were delighted and entertained by authors and illustrators. Now in its third year, STREAM South London Book Festival for Children welcomed back its patron Malorie Blackman, who talked about how she came to appreciate and engage with Shakespeare’s work by attending live performances. She discussed her latest book Chasing the Stars, a reimagining of Othello, in conversation with author Tony Bradman, who also described the influence of Shakespeare on his work. Both authors were on home territory, having lived and gone to school locally. An impressive queue of avid readers waited to meet Malorie and have their books signed.
Judith Kerr delighted with her warm wit and charm in an interview with Sunday Times Children’s Book Editor, Nicolette Jones. Judith, a sprightly 93-year old, talked about the inspiration for her children’s books, which include The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the Mog series, with many of her stories written in the first place for her own children. She also moved her audience as she talked about her own childhood and how her family were forced to flee Germany when Hitler came to power, an experience she writes about in When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit.
Elsewhere audiences sang and danced at the Winnie-the-Pooh 90th birthday celebration, learnt to draw Odd Dog Out with illustrator Rob Biddulph, joined in reciting Shakespeare with author Marcia Williams, made an octopus with Pass it On! author Sophy Henn, discovered how to poison someone without trace with Dr Kathryn Harkup and her book A is for Arsenic, travelled an imaginary world with author Kiran Millwood Hargrave and The Girl of Ink and Stars, and flexed their creativity in writing and poetry workshops. These were just a few of the events on offer, with readers meeting their favourite authors and discovering new writers and books at of the festival bookshop run by Tales on Moon Lane. Others were lucky to win books in a number of event related competitions, while enthusiastic attendees were fuelled by delicious food from stalls by Norwood Feast.
With terrific feedback from audiences, the planning for STREAM2017 will begin shortly. There are also plans for Streatham & Clapham Prep to hold a smaller event, a Mini-STREAM for the very youngest of readers, in Spring 2017. Keep reading!