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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Festival Snaps!

If you’re wondering what went on at the BOAMBF last Saturday, here’s a photographic record of just some of the events in the Bradford on Avon Library.

Kicking off the fun was Maudie Smith reading The Dressing-Up Dad and then getting everyone dressing up – as a giant caterpillar, among other things.


David Solomons gave the lowdown on My Evil Twin is a Supervillain and then met some eager fans.


Gill Lewis came to talk about Puppy Academy. Gill did her best to train a few young pups before signing some lovely books.


Then it was eyes down with Angie Morgan to make personalised comfort blankets to go along with her gorgeous new picture book,  That is Actually My Blanket, Baby!


It was a day full of craft and fun for the whole family. Children…


mums…and dads,


big brothers too…


…and Sharon Tregenza made sure there was something for our very youngest customers. Great pen technique!


Authors read chapters from Matilda while children listened hard and drew the characters, the events from the story, or designed their own versions of the title for our Matilda Hall of Fame. David Solomons couldn’t resist staying on to read a chapter or two.

Nor could Angie Morgan


or Maudie Smith. Don’t read yourself to sleep though, Maudie!


Rachel Ward proved that while crime doesn’t pay it really can be a laughing matter.


Alex Campbell and Angie Morgan sent scores of children home with their own handmade mini books. And Ian the toymaker Mckay and Fleur the thriller writer Hitchcock kept the animal menagerie growing throughout the day.


Oh yes, and well over 100 children signed up for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. We’ve got a lot more Animal Agents out there now.

Huge thanks to all our sponsors: Nosy Crow, Chicken House Books, Firefly Press and BOA Town Council, thanks to all our helpers at the library and in the wider Bradford on Avon community. Special thanks to Carole and Jim from Ex Libris bookshop and to the wonderful Natasha Greig for taking photographs all day long.

That’s all folks! See you next year.

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A Book Party fit for Matilda!


Good old Facebook is showing us memories of our first Mini Book Festival two years ago when Jeremy Strong came along and we basically book partied all day long.

And now we’re going again, for a third time, and we’re putting the final touches to our preparations – bagging up some choice craft materials from the Wiltshire Scrapstore to make dressing up costumes for miniature paper dads, and customised comfort blankets for imaginary babies. We’re cutting out the final templates for the books that children will write themselves, we’re filling the library foyer with cornstarch packing peanuts (because reasons), we’re buying coffee and snacks for our guest authors, David Solomons and Gill Lewis, and our visiting editor, Kes Lupo, and we’re choosing yummy sweets and chocolate prizes for the Book Cover Quiz.

We’re planning to have a ball. Come and join in. This Saturday in BOA Library from 10.00am. It’s all about books and stories, creativity and fun. And it’s going to be better than ever and it’s FREE!

We’re quite sure Matilda would approve., especially since we’ll be reading her story all afternoon.


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Dads in Blankets

If your children like getting stuck into craft then the Bradford on Avon Mini Book Festival on 15th July is the place for you. You can dress up a dad with Maudie Smith at 10.00am, or mess up a blanket with Angie Morgan at 11.00am.  Dads and blankets both provided! In fact why don’t you dress up a dad with Maudie and then put him in his  own blanket with Angie? Sorted!

And if you just want to do craft all day long, you can! Join Ian Mckay and Fleur Hitchcock who will be in the library foyer helping you make and bring to life a whole menagerie of animals – out of this mysterious stuff….


And that’s only the craft. There are books too, and stories, and quizzes, authors to meet, and book-making  and writing workshops. There are books to buy as well, but everything else is absolutely free!

Check out the Events here.

Contact the library on 01225 863280 or email bradfordlibrary@wiltshire.gov.uk for booking details.

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Animal Agents

animal agent

When we ran the first BOAMBF in 2015 we knew exactly where and when we wanted to run it. In the Library, on the first weekend of The Summer Reading Challenge.

Our festival is full of activity: crafts and quizzes, puzzles and talks, writing, workshopping, storytelling, and even chocolate. But it’s mainly about books. It’s about encouraging children into the library and showing them how exciting books can be. Here are the titles chosen by the Reading Agency for this year’s Challenge. From Superpigs to Barking Badgers, from Dave Pigeon to Inspector Flytrap, from fact books to funny books, LiBEARians to Dancing Frogs – there’s something for everyone.


And with a theme like Animal Agents, who better to tempt along to the festival than Gill Lewis who knows, loves and writes so wonderfully about animals – and the humans who live alongside them. Gill will be talking about her series for younger children, Puppy Academy. If you look closely you might find a Puppy Academy book in the collection above.


You can pop into the festival at any time on Saturday 15th July. It’s all FREE. To book your place to see Gill call Bradford on Avon Library on 01225 863280 or email: Bradfordlibrary@wiltshire.gov.uk

And to find out more about The Summer Reading Challenge and how it works, check out this trailer.



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Free workshops for young writers!

There are some great writing workshops on offer at the festival this year, all run by our specialist team of experienced, published, and very clever authors. And what’s more,  thanks to our generous sponsors, they’re all absolutely FREE!

Children of 7+ can join Alex Campbell & Angie Morgan and invent a story adventure and put it in their own Mini Book to take home.

And if crime is up your street, sign up for  Rachel Ward‘s crime-writing workshop which is for anyone over the age of 12 (and yes, that does include adults!)

All events are held in Bradford on Avon Library on Saturday 15th July and you can find all the details here. Remember to book though because we only have so many places.



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And for the Minniest of Festival-goers…

There’s so much going on at the Bradford on Avon Mini Book Festival, but what’s on for the youngest family members?

We have several events that are just right for children of 3 and up. You could choose to see Angie Morgan introduce her new picture book, THAT IS ACTUALLY MY BLANKET, BABY!

Meet Maudie Smith for some dressing up fun with THE DRESSING-UP DAD

Or children of 4+ can join guest author Gill Lewis for all the news about the puppies in PUPPY ACADEMY.

All the times and details for these bookable FREE events are here.

Saturday 15th July could also be the very best moment to introduce children who are going to Big School next term to the Summer Reading Challenge. BOA Library users  of 4+ can sign up for the Challenge and take out their first reading books for the long summer holiday.

Hope to see you on the 15th.  Remember, events are free but you need to reserve a place.

Continue reading

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