BOAMBF is back! Save the date!

Have you heard about this year’s Summer Reading Challenge! In 2019 it’s all about SPACE!

Space Chase logo

And our big news is that BOAMBF – your friendly FREE kids book festival is coming back!

So save the date folks. It’s the Bradford on Avon Mini Book Festival. Saturday 13th July 2019  in Bradford on Avon Library. We’ve got a great line-up of authors illustrators and makers to wow you with this year. It’s going to be absolutely stratospheric!

Watch this Space (teehee!) for more details, they’re orbiting the Earth right now and they’ll be splash landing with you very very soon!

Meanwhile here are the books in the Summer Reading Challenge selection.

They all look so inviting. Which one will you read first?!

SRC 2019 Books Composite image

Find our more about all the books here


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Slippery Slugs and Sneaky Stories

The banners were out, the posters were up, the flyers were flying round the town, and sure enough last weekend the big day arrived. Bradford on Avon Library flung open its doors, and families and eager children from all over Wiltshire flooded in to join in the fun.

The fourth Bradford on Avon Mini Book Festival was another rip-roaring success. Thank you so much to everyone who came along, everyone who gave their time and worked so hard to make it happen. There are too many to thank personally but we’d like to mention a few.

Behind the scenes Rachel Leyshon and Kesia Lupo from Chicken House installed themselves in an office and met up with budding and very committed children’s authors, some of whom had travelled from as far away as Harrogate, and even Scotland(!) to take up a valuable one-to-one meeting with these fantastic editors. Thank you, Rachel and Kesia, for your graciousness, your calmness and your insight. Good luck to all the new authors too. We’ll be rooting for you. Who knows, maybe BOAMBF will help fledge a published writer one of these days!P1370420-1This year’s guest stars, Michelle Robinson and Fred Blunt certainly didn’t disappoint.  Their Grandmas from Mars event was an absolute hoot and Michelle turned into an alien grandma before our very eyes – complete with trolley bag, stick and a very green face!

P1370409-1Fred went on to give a masterclass in illustration, inspiring the artists of tomorrow. If you were there, we’ll let you in on a secret. Fred said afterwards, “The children were so engaged and the drawings they did were full of life and originality :)” Just like his own drawings that cropped up on the day – look at this characterful pair!

Anna Wilson was especially hard at work this year, creating a cast of dodgy villains on the one hand and a whole host of miniature gardens on the other. Children loved the chance to get into this one.

Here we see two young gardeners’ gardens, one comes complete with slugs. Mmm, a slug special – now there’s a proper down to earth realist if ever there was one.

polly gardenSharon Tregenza gave out puzzles and quiz questions  to children, and a few dads (!) who enjoyed a thoughtful and creative afternoon session.

Did they know that a murky murder was being plotted upstairs with Fleur Hitchcock and Rachel Ward? We don’t think so.

Certainly Maudie Smith and Angie Morgan who took turns as the Story Hat had no inkling whatsoever…

…Carole from Ex Libris Books was looking the other way…P1370363-2

Ian Mckay didn’t see anything, he was in the foyer facilitating the building of the House of Beano – the perfect accompaniment to this year’s Mischief Makers Summer Reading Challenge.

And Jo and Roma and the other librarians were far too busy signing children up to the Reading Challenge, scooping stragglers out of the museum, and making sure everyone found their way into the workshops and events. Little did they know that real mischief was being plotted right above their heads.

Well, it’s time to say one last big BOAMBF thank you to everyone who came and got involved this year. We had an absolute whale of a time.

Meanwhile, maybe someone should get down to the local zoo, just to make sure everything’s all right…….


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We’ve got Grandmas from Mars!


cut out characters_preview

Look out! The aliens are coming! And there’s only a month to go!

It’s not every book festival that can boast such unusual guests.  But thanks to writer and illustrator team Michelle Robinson and Fred Blunt we are expecting some very special aliens in the library for the Bradford on Avon Mini Book Festival on Saturday 14 July.

Michelle and Fred will be introducing their brand new book Grandmas from Mars

Grandmas front cover_preview


Fred and Nell’s grandma is babysitting, but she’s acting rather strangely… Hang on – is that a spare eyeball? That’s NOT grandma; it’s an alien! RUUUUUUN!

Get ready for a completely crazy and brilliantly bonkers story telling and drawing session.

Michelle Robinson

Quite frankly, anything could happen. Michelle looks the very picture of sensiblenessnessness here, but don’t be fooled, you haven’t seen her dressed up as a sausage!

We can’t wait to find out what excitement she and Fred have cooked up for us this time. One thing’s for sure though – it’s going to be out of this world!

And that’s not all. Fred is running a master class in character creation for all your budding young illustrators. Design a character and put them straight into a story!

Peter Smart Photography-0009_preview

For full details of Fred and Michelle’s events and to see what else is on offer this year, take a look at our Programme Contact the library to secure your FREE ticket.

Oh yes, and do bring your grandma – alien or human – all kinds are welcome 😉


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It’s all happening now.

You may be sitting down to the England Croatia battle. You may already know the result – you may be totally uninterested…

But whatever your preference, we’re preparing for Saturday and our fourth, BOAMBF – with a pile of boxes.

Just in case you don’t believe me, here’s a shot of a pile of boxes.boxesboambf


Here’s another – you may note they have been joined together. boxesboambf1

This is the House of Beano, empty, in the process of assemblage by top maker, Ian Mckay. Come along on Saturday and help fill it with your favourite characters, and anything else vaguely Beanotastic.

And this is just a tiny portion of what’s available…

Click here to read the full programme, email or ring to book your free tickets.

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Roll up. Roll up.

cut out characters_previewOh it’s boiling, we know it’s boiling, but you really need to think about booking tickets for that rainy Saturday that’s coming up in a couple of weeks.


Because you’ll miss out otherwise.

You’ll miss out on making miniature gardens with Anna Wilson, learning to write crime, with Rachel Ward, making your own fantastic characters with Fred Blunt, hearing all about the Grandmas from Mars with Michelle Robinson and Fred together – and building the House of Beano –

Also you won’t be the very first to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge and that would be tragic.


So check out our programme of activities. 

email or ring the library: 01225 863280IMG_0124

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Editorial one-to-ones with Chicken House

Are you a new writer with a brand new children’s book up your sleeve, tucked in a drawer, or just sitting on your computer? If so and you’re wondering what to do with it next, read on.

After the success of her one-to-one meetings with new writers last year, we are thrilled to announce that Kesia Lupo from the excellent Chicken House Publisher has agreed to come to the Bradford on Avon Mini Book Festival again. And this time she’s bringing Rachel Leyshon with her! So that’s not one, but two fantastic editors from Chicken House joining us for the day!

Kesia and Rachel are offering 20 minute editorial one-to-ones for aspiring authors. To qualify you must have written a full manuscript of a book for children and be able to send the first 3 chapters and a synopsis at least two weeks ahead of the day (Saturday July 14th).  

Contact the library to book you slot, but do be quick – there are just eight places available between 10.30 am and 2.30 pm.

Phone or email to book 01225 863280 /

chicken house

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Hello, Hello.

As the spring races towards us, the good people of BOAMBF pull their heads from their burrows and begin to plan.

So far we have planned over coffee, but now we have begun to plan over soup. soup

Yes, that is soup – butternut and beetroot since you ask.

So plans are afoot – we have SPECIAL guests, we have NEW things – and we have PLANNED things.  And we have a date. 14th July, people. 14th July.

But there almost certainly won’t be any soup.

I don’t think.

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