Events at Derby Book Festival 2017

Full details of all our Festival events are listed. Download our Festival programme or Download Children and Families Programme

Children’s Book Trail Friday 26 May - Sunday 18 June
Sadler Gate, DE1 3NQ

Suitable for under 12s. The Children’s Book Trail returns! Pop along to Sadlergate and see what you can find in the shop windows! Pick up your quiz sheet from participating stores and return your answers to the White Stuff shop. You could win a special prize in our Book Trail Prize Draw.

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Friday 9th June

Tots Make and Do - Where the Poppies Now Grow 10:00am - 11:30am - Friday 9 June

Suitable for ages 2 - 5 and their grown-ups. Hilary Robinson’s award winning Where The Poppies Now Grow is a delightful children’s picture book with powerful illustrations by Martin Impey about two boyhood friends who go to war. Afterwards, pop down to The Silk Mill to see the Tower of London Poppies: Weeping Window exhibition.

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Saturday 10th June

Bringing Books to Life 10:00am - 3:30pm - Saturday 10 June

Due to the wet weather forecast for Saturday 10 June, all performances and activities programmed will continue in the Marquee and on the Trent Barton bus. All other activities will be moved into Derby Market, behind The Guildhall. Join us for a fun-packed, spellbinding day of stories, creativity, music, magic and nonsense – and it’s all about Friendship! Visit the giant inflatable marquee: 10am ​Captivating stories Author Richard O’Neill inspires all ages with a fantastic blend of old, new, and original stories. 10.55am Street Theatre with Quite Remarkable Productions For ages 2 - 6. Join Mandy and her silly friend Geoffrey Jumper. Using music, magic and puppetry to tell stories, explore the wonderful world of reading and friendship! 11.30am Fancy Dress Competition. Come along as friendly characters from your favourite book – you could win a Book Token! 11.50am Family Book Quiz - for under 7s. Test your knowledge with our Fun Family Book Quiz. 12.25pm Captivating Stories Join Richard O’Neill, storyteller extraordinaire, for part two. 1.20pm Family Book Quiz - for over 7s. Second Fun Family Book Quiz of the day. 1.55pm Street Theatre with Quite Remarkable Productions 2.40pm Captivating Stories And … all day on the Market Place, sun, fun, face-painting and Déda’s pop up café The Mad Hatter gets the party started! Calling all budding artists and writers - chalk your favourite literary friends on the Pavement, be inspired by Derby Museums’ collections to write your own story about them, make your own medal with Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey and learn about their book Where The Poppies Now Grow. Decorate our special Friendship Trees and see your favourite books come to life, dance along to Derby Saxophone Quartet’s musical stories or hop on The Book Bus listen to magical stories from Africa and add your favourite books to their bookshelf. Still dying to dive into a book? You’ll be spoilt for choice with book stalls from Derby Libraries, Derby Schools and Oxfam and of course don’t forget to bring one along to swap at the our Book Swap stall! Feel like a rest - grab a seat on board to hear our Bard on the Bus, with lively tales from Derby Shakespeare Theatre Company. CQ Street Circus 11am - 3pm Market Place Chango Fuego ​​Fire juggling, unicycle etc Tinna Misto ​​Hula Hoops performance & workshop Sam Davey ​​Circus skills & tricks

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Meet Mog 10:00am - 5:00pm - Saturday 10 June

Pop along to Waterstones and meet children’s book character, Mog.

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Hilary Robinson & Martin Impey Where the Poppies Now Grow 10:30am - 11:30am - Saturday 10 June

Suitable for ages 4 - 11 and their grown ups. Where The Poppies Now Grow is a touching children’s story of the power of friendship amidst the tragedy of war. The carefree childhood for Ben and his best friend Ray becomes a distant memory when they join the army to serve their country in 1914. Written to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey have dedicated the book to their great uncles who fell at the Somme. In tribute to the war poets of the time, Hilary wrote the story in rhyme. Martin, who illustrated War Horse, has captured the innocence of childhood and the courage of those in battle in his beautiful illustrations. Join Hilary and Martin at the Bringing Books to Life event in the afternoon for Medal Making.

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Storytelling at intu Derby 11:00am - 4:00pm - Saturday 10 June

Intu Derby, Level 1, outside Boots. Readings will take place every 30 minutes. intu’s Kids’ Club will be hosting an inspired and engaging event full of magical storytelling and crafts. Little ones are invited to let loose their imaginations and join us in the centre to hear a variety of classic children’s short stories. Afterwards, they can take part in our crafty workshop where they can create personalised friendship bracelets for their best buddies. Like any good kids’ books, it’ll be thoroughly entertaining and full of fun and laughter.

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NT Live: Peter Pan (PG) 1:00pm - 3:30pm - Saturday 10 June

£17/£15/£13/£10 for under 16s. Suitable for families. When Peter Pan, leader of the Lost Boys, loses his shadow, headstrong Wendy helps him to reattach it. In return, she is invited to Neverland, where Tinker Bell the fairy, Tiger Lily and the vengeful Captain Hook await. A riot of magic, music and make-believe ensues. Captured live at the National Theatre, see this recorded performance of JM Barrie’s much-loved tale. A delight for children and adults alike. Sally Cookson (NT Live: Jane Eyre) directs this wondrously inventive production, a co-production with Bristol Old Vic theatre. All children, except one, grown up.

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Reading Apps with Nosy Crow 2 - 2.45pm & 3 - 3.45pm

£5 (one adult and two children). Ages 4 - 7 and their grown ups. All children must be accompanied by an adult Need help in improving your children's reading skills? Join Tom Bonnick from Nosy Crow for a 45 minute session on how to use Reading Apps. Award winning children's publisher Nosy Crow have developed these fun and easy Apps and will help you to navigate your way round them using QUAD’s ipads. Help your child to learn to read and become a book lover! Please note: booking for this event is by phone only at the Festival Box Office on 01332 290606.

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Museum Sleepover: Dahl Delights 7:00pm - 8:00am - Saturday 10 June

£20 per child/£15 per adult. Suitable for ages 7 - 12. Come and spend the night at the Museum at the Festival’s first sleepover! The family sleepover takes the phizz-whizzing wonders of Roald Dahl’s magnificent stories and characters as its inspiration. From Matilda to The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox to The BFG, there’ll be a packed programme of activities and games! The evening will culminate in a torchlight tour of the museum before bedtime stories and lights out! Enjoy sunrise and breakfast in the galleries the following morning, before heading home. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Please note: Booking for this event is by phone only at the Festival Box Office on 01332 290606.

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Sunday 11th June

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party 2:00pm - 3:00pm - Sunday 11 June

£2 for under 14s. £4 for 14s and over. Suitable for all. Children under 14 must be accompanied. Join us for a very important date in Wonderland! Spend an afternoon at the Museum, and enjoy storytelling, crafts and cake, all inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic story. Create your very own hat and enjoy some delicious treats and tasty drinks together in Wonderland.

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Tuesday 13th June

The Boat and The Blue 11:30am - 12:15pm - Tuesday 13 June

Join Jack Ross, Eleanor Meredith and Sinfonia Viva for a magical maritime adventure with songs, live visuals and musical games. Join Rowan on her adventures afloat, meeting frogs, paper boats, ducks and whales. You’ll also get a free CD and book of the story. Suitable for ages 0 – 5. Book at

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Wednesday 14th June

Derby on Board Games 4:00pm - 10:00pm - Wednesday 14 June

Suitable for families. Derby on Board Games returns for the third year with a special event - all games played will have a book theme. Come and join in the fun! Derby on Board Games meets regularly on the last Wednesday of the month at the Book Café. They are a family-friendly group - everyone is welcome regardless of age, gaming knowledge and skill level.

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Friday 16th June

Tots Make & Do: The Very Hungry Caterpillar 10:00am - 11:30am - Friday 16 June

Suitable for ages 2 - 5 and their grown-ups. Today we draw inspiration from Eric Carle's classic tale of one very hungry caterpillar! Hear the story and paint, print and create your own beautiful butterfly to take home.

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Saturday 17th June

Meet The Gruffalo 10:00am - 5:00pm - Saturday 17 June

Pop along to Waterstones and meet children’s book character, The Gruffalo!

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The Writer's Den 10:00am - 5:00pm - Saturday 17 June

Book your place online at The Writer’s Den is a gymnasium for the imagination. You’ll take part in fun, creative writing workshops, performances, competitions and games, all delivered by professional writers and designed to keep you inventing and imagining long after the Den closes. You’ll meet lots of other people your age who also love writing and you’ll leave the Den with new friends and new skills. With brand new tutors running intensive workshops in fiction and poetry, they’ll help you to develop your skills and confidence. We’ll round off the day with a special performance by one of the featured authors, which you can invite your family and friends to watch with you. There are a limited number of bursary places available for low income families. For ages 9 - 14.

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Open Day at the Smallprint Company 11:00am - 4:00pm - Saturday 17 June

Suitable for all ages. Pop in and join The Smallprint Company to celebrate the art of the book and welcome Chrissy Stangroom's exhibition, Footprints, to The Gallery Space. Meet Chrissy , print a letterpress bookmark and browse the little letterpress shop. FREE/£2 a Bookmark.

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Dogs Don't Do Ballet: Presented by Blunderbus Theatre Company 11.30am - 12.30pm & 2.30 - 3.30pm - Saturday 17 June

For ages 3+. Biff is not like other dogs. He doesn't do dog stuff like weeing on lampposts, or scratching his fleas, or drinking out of the toilet. No, Biff likes moonlight and music and walking on his tiptoes. You see, Biff doesn't think he's a dog. He thinks he's a ballerina! Based on the bestselling children's book by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie, this fabulous feel-good show features music, songs, hand-crafted puppets and Biff, the ballet-dancing dog!

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A Tale To Tell 2 - 3pm & 4 - 5pm

Perfect for over 7s and their grown ups. An enchanting journey into storytelling and shadow play. Are you a spinner of stories, a teller of tales? For 1000 nights, Queen Scheherazade has told her stories of magic and adventure to the King. But now she’s run out of ideas and needs your help to finish her final story. If you’re clever and brave enough, come and meet her in her tent in the palace gardens for an enchanting journey into the world of The Arabian Nights. Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah are specialists in stimulating enquiry and exploration, using compelling stories and high quality participatory theatre made with and for children and young people.

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Derby Book Festival

9 - 17 June 2017

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