The Big Write Children’s Literature Festival @ Discover (3 – 13 March)

discoverWith over 65 events this festival will bring the brightest stars of the children’s writing world to Stratford, east London.

Including Michael Rosen, Children’s Laureate, Anthony Browne, Nick Butterworth and Polly Dunbar with her puppets and penguins.

Michael de Souza, popular author and illustrator of brand new Cbeebies series Rastamouse will be dropping in to tell tales of his crime bustin’ crew too.

charlie-lola-invisibleThe festival will also be welcoming back The Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler as he introduces us to his new characters Pip and Posy.

To tie in with the festival Discover is running a series of workshops for local schools with authors dropping in to lead hands-on writing events.

Here are our highlights of the family events:


Friday 4 March

11.30 – 12.15pm
Storytime with Bizzy Bear

Introducing Bizzy Bear, the busiest bear on the block! Lending a hand on the farm, counting ducks, finding eggs and playing in the park Bizzy Bear always has something new to do with his friends.

Join Discover’s Story Builders for a fantastic toddler session of stories and songs based on a brand new series of delightful board books.

Michael Rosen

Don’t miss your chance to come and meet the wonderful Michael Rosen! One of the UK’s most loved children’s authors and former Children’s Laureate,  Michael’s poems and stories such as Quick, Let’s Get Out of Here and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt family favourites .

Following on from A to Z, the Big Book of Bad Things is his latest exciting, original poetry collection and is guaranteed to delight young and old with Michael’s famous sense of humour!

Tickets £3.50

Saturday 5th of March

A day of the very best of picture books:

Mini Grey

Join the much-loved and award-winning Mini Grey in a creative storytelling session, where you will learn all about how she creates her unforgettable and quirky characters and hear readings from a number of her books including her latest, Three By The Sea.

Filled with handmade surprises and an insight into how to make your very own book – it promises to be lots of fun!

12.15am, 3pm, 4pm
Charlie and Lola Storytelling

Visit Charlie and Lola’s kitchen in the Green Drops exhibition and join in with some absolutely utterly fabulous storytelling about our favourite brother and sister.

12.30pm, 1.30pm, 3.30pm
The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he struggles to become a beautiful butterfly for a magical storytelling session.

1- 1.45pm
Nick Butterworth

Join bestselling author and illustrator Nick Butterworth for storytime fun and entertainment as he talks about his favourite characters including Percy the Park Keeper the rambunctious kitten in Tiger, and adorable alien Q Pootle 5.

Today he showcases his loveable new creation Trixie the Witch’s Cat! His world famous illustrations and enchanting interactive events are perfect for the whole family.

Finding your Flow

A poetry workshop with PoetryJoe to inspire you to create your own funny and crazy poetic creations.

Please highlight

2.30 – 3.15pm
Play the Shape Game with Anthony Browne

Come and meet Anthony Browne, Children’s Laureate for a fun family event based on looking, drawing and dreaming.

Hear about some of his most famous picture book creations including Gorilla, Willy the Wimp and Into the Forest and help him play his famous Shape Game.

Supported by BookTrust

Penguins and Puppets with Polly Dunbar

‘Hello, Penguin!’ says Ben. Penguin says nothing. What can Ben do to make Penguin speak? Join award-winning author and illustrator Polly Dunbar (Shoe Baby, Tilly) for an interactive storytelling session with music, puppets and pictures.

Everyone will get the chance to try and make Penguin talk, so come prepared to participate

Sunday 6th March

11.30 -12.15pm
Ruby Nettleship and the Ice lolly Adventure with Thomas Docherty

Can you grow a brand new playground by planting your ice lolly stick in the ground? ‘Yes!’ says author and illustrator Thomas Docherty as he presents his new book Ruby Nettleship. Come along for interactive frolics and some very exciting props – a great event for the whole family.

More Cats with Viviane Schwarz

Are you feline-friendly? Then let author Viviane Schwarz introduce you to the illustration techniques she used to create her pop-up tale There Are Cats In this Book!

Expect plenty of cutting, sticking, wool and big bright colours for a very hands-on workshop!

12.15am, 3pm, 4pm
That Pesky Rat

Visit That Pesky Rat in the Green Drops exhibition and join in with some absolutely utterly fabulous storytelling about our favourite rat in search of a home.

12.15am, 3pm, 4pm
The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he struggles to become a beautiful butterfly for a magical storytelling session.

Miaow Said the Cow with Emma Dodd

Author and illustrator Emma Dodd shares her magnificent picture books with drawings and stories. Discover the chaos cat causes in the farmyard when all the sounds get swapped around with mice mooing, hens oinking, even the sheep barking. Join in the animal fun.

Magic Ice Lollies with Thomas Docherty

Learn how Thomas illustrated his latest book Ruby Nettleship and the Ice Lolly Adventure then make your own magic ice lolly and help Thomas create a unique giant playground picture. Hands on fun and lots of drawing for ages 5+ (younger brothers and sisters welcome to join in).

2.30 – 3.15pm
Rastamouse with Micheal de Souza

Author Michael de Souza shares his tales about the coolest crime-bustin’ mouse in the world, Rastamouse, written in rapping rhyme. Meet the Easy Crew, a trio of crime-fighting, mystery-solving, special agent, reggae band headed by the eponymous tea cosy-wearing, skateboarding Caribbean rodent.

Watch out for RastamouseAdventures on Cbeebies in spring 2011

Mega Mash Up with NikalasCatlow and Tim Wesson

Discover the brand new Mega Mash Up series of short, bonkers and funny stories that are incredibly easy and quick to read. Find out what happens when Romans v Dinosaurs on Mars and Robots v Gorillas in the Desert. Each book has bold and crazy illustrations and space left on each page for children to add their own drawings. Expect story-making, extreme drawing, fantastic flip-oramas and loads of laughs.

Saturday 12 March

11.30 – 12.15
Monsters and Monkeys with Ed Vere

Author and illustrator Ed Vere has delighted children with his fantastic picture books Mr Big, Banana and The Getaway. Hear about the jazz loving lonely gorilla and the monkeys that need to learn the magic word.

Draw your favourite characters with Ed and have a sneak preview of his new book Bedtime for Monsters and brand new exhibition at Discover Welcome to Monsterville.

12pm and 2pm
Alex T Smith workshop

Alex T Smith will be showing off his fabulous sketchbooks and talking about how he created his exceptionally cool character, Claude the extraordinary dog.

Everyone will be invited to take part in a giant game of “Claude Consequences” which Alex will illustrate in his unique and groovy style.

12.15pm, 2.15pm and 3.15pm
The Princess and the Pea

Listen to Lauren Child’s delightful version of the Princess and the Pea and create your puppet princess.

12.30pm, 1.30pm and 4pm
Nursery Tales

Snuggle in the story camp with a Story Builder and share your favourite nursery rhymes and classic tales including The Three Little Pigs, and Goldilocks.

1 – 1.45pm
Pip and Posy with Axel Scheffler

Come and join Axel Scheffler, the award-winning illustrator of The Gruffalo, Stick Man and Zog, as he introduces some new friends: Pip and Posy.

Axel will be doing some drawing and there will be stories and songs about the busy drama of toddler life in a brand new series of picture books bound to become best sellers.

2.30 – 3.15 pm
Astrosaurs with Steve Cole

The enthusiastic Steve Cole of Astrosaurs fame offers a stomping hour of thrilling adventures, which include everything under the sun (so that includes astronauts and dinosaurs then!) and also his new Slime Squad.

Packed with mad scientists and slimy monsters these new stories will make your stomach turn with laughter.

Sunday 13 March

11.30 -12.15am
Bruce Ingman

Join fabulous illustrator Bruce Ingman as he draws and talks about his collaborations with Allan Ahlberg which have resulted in fantastic picture books The Pencil, The Runaway Dinner and Everybody was a baby once. Funny, quirky, and deceptively simple, his picture books make you look more closely at the things we take for granted.

From rough sketches to final artwork, with lots of drawing in between, this is a fun and lively performance with a sneak preview of a brand new book Ronny Rock Monster Cake Meltdown.

12pm and 2pm
Cartoon Capers

With a helping hand from cartoonist Tim Saunders from The Independent, you can let your imagination run wild by transforming all your family members into cheerful, lively cartoon characters,

12.15pm, 2.15pm and 3.15pm
The Storybook Wolves

Listen to Lauren Child’s delightful jumbled up traditional tales and create your own storybook wolf.

12.30pm, 1.30pm and 4pm
Nursery Tales

Snuggle in the story camp with a Story Builder and share your favourite nursery rhymes and classic tales including The Three Little Pigs, and Goldilocks

Admission Prices:

Full day tickets

Children: £5.50

Adults: £7.00

Family ticket: £18.00 – total of 4 people

Concessions children £5/adults £6.

Discover annual pass holders £3 per person


Discover Children’s Story Centre,
383-387 High Street,
Stratford, London,
E15 4QZ

020 8536 5555

Five minutes from Stratford’s Jubilee Line, Central Line, DLR, National Rail, Regional Rail and bus stations.


[email protected] 020 8536 5555 Mon-Fri 10am – 5pm