Oliver Jeffers to headline annual children’s book fest

Chantelle Sweeney from Dog Ears helps launch the festival
Chantelle Sweeney from Dog Ears helps launch the festival

The Humdinger! Children’s Book Festival returns to Londonderry this year, running March 24-29 in selected venues.

Author and illustrator of award-winning children’s books such as How To Catch a Star, Lost and Found, and The Incredible Book Eating Boy, north-Belfast raised Oliver Jeffers, who recently worked on the Grammy-winning video for U2’s Ordinary Love, will headline a series of family-friendly events, designed to inspire a love of reading and spark the imagination. Children will have the chance to meet their favourite authors and illustrators and take part in a range of interactive workshops.

The festival is organised by local children’s media company Dog Ears, working in partnership with Booktrust NI.

Fionnuala Deane, managing director at Dog Ears, said: “We were delighted with the success of our inaugural Humdinger! Children’s Book Festival last year. The response from families was phenomenal and we immediately started planning our 2014 event, working closely with Booktrust NI – compiling a wishlist of guests we’d love to invite to the city.

“This year’s festival has many elements to it - we’re on the road with Carlo Gebler and Paul Howard in a library van, we’re exhibiting the gorgeous illustration work of Clive McFarland and Judith Kerr, we’re working with the Nerve Centre, screening beautiful movies in our after school club. Plus, there will be workshops, readings and signings from some of the biggest names in children’s books including Oliver Jeffers, Tony Ross, Tony De Saulles, Ian Whybrow and many more.”

Damian Smyth, head of literature at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added: “It is often the first stories we read that stay with us forever, firing the imagination and enticing a new generation of readers into the world of creativity and discovery.

“We are delighted to be able to support this fantastic event, which will give local children the opportunity to meet the people responsible for bringing some of their favourite characters to life.”

To view the full Humdinger! 2014 programme and book tickets visit humdingerbookfestival.com.