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Puffin launch Festival of Big Dreams (2020)

Puffin Festival of Big Dreams

Preview by Jack Foley

PUFFIN, the world’s biggest children’s book publisher, is launching the Puffin Festival of Big Dreams as part of their 80th birthday celebrations.

The seven-day online festival, in partnership with Waterstones, will launch on June 8, 2020, and will bring together authors and illustrators including Jacqueline Wilson, Robin Stevens, Nick Sharratt, Dapo Adeola, Nathan Bryon and Nadia Shireen, to inspire children to keep on dreaming.

Hosted on Puffin’s YouTube and Facebook Live channels, the festival will feature an all-star line up of authors, illustrators, and special guests who will be running writing master-classes, draw-alongs and setting creative challenges to keep children’s imaginations dreaming long after screen-time is over.

Every weekday from June 8 -12, families will be able to enjoy two new videos from Puffin’s star-studded line-up, which will culminate in a live, interactive extravaganza the weekend of June 13 and 14. Each event will be themed around dreams, be they bold, brave or wild, and the events will take story-time to the next level.

Authors and illustrators taking part include: Jacqueline Wilson (former Children’s Laureate), Robin Stevens (Murder Most Unladylike), Nathan Bryon & Dapo Adeola (Look Up!), Carrie Hope Fletcher (Into the Spotlight), Sam Copeland (Charlie Changes into a Chicken), Nadia Shireen (Bumblebear), Stuart Heritage and Nicola Slater (Jonathan the Magic Pony), Jamie Littler (Frostheart), Rashmi Sirdeshpande (How to be Extraordinary), Yassmin Abdel-Magied (My Name is Layla) and Lucy Hawking (Unlocking the Universe).

The festival will be hosted by former Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya and there will also be a special guest appearance from some real life puffins who reside on Coquet Island seabird sanctuary. The full line-up and programme will be announced shortly.

Each day, Radzi will take audiences on a journey through Puffin’s magical 80-year history, revisiting an assortment of beloved stories and characters, past and present. You can also expect exclusive sneak peeks and snippets from The Puffin Book Of Big Dreams, which is publishing on September 3, 2020 and bursting with over 40 new and sparkling stories, poems and illustrations by a variety of Puffin authors and illustrators to spark imaginations.

Nick Sharratt will be the festival’s Illustrator in Residence for the week. Throughout the festival, children will be asked to submit their own big dreams online using the hashtag #PuffinDreamer for Nick to illustrate, creating a collage of children’s dreams to celebrate the power of imagination even during the most challenging times.

Jacqueline Wilson commented: ‘Like so many authors and illustrators, I’m really sad that all the school visits, bookshop events and literary festivals have been cancelled. I’m missing sharing stories and chatting to children, so I’m delighted to be able to take part in the Puffin Festival of Big Dreams so we can reach out to everyone at home or school and share the magic of stories.’

Puffin are also collaborating with National Book Tokens on a National Book Tokens & Puffin Big Dreamers Writing Competition in the run-up to the festival. To take part, children aged 6 to 18 are invited to write a 300-word short story inspired by their big dreams for the chance to win National Book Tokens.

The competition will be judged by Puffin authors: Nathan Bryon, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Sam Copeland, Robin Stevens, Emma Smith-Barton and Carrie Hope Fletcher with winners being revealed during the festival.