5 festival highlights from Chiddingstone and Barnes

Published on Thursday, May 23, 2019

Parrot Street Book Club stall set up for an event

We spent 4 full days earlier this month at two amazing children’s literature events – Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival and Barnes Children’s Literature Festival. It was great to meet so many families that are as excited about books and reading as we are. We really enjoyed listening to what they had to say about our subscriptions and the books we had sent over the past 18 months.

Here are our 5 most memorable highlights:

Images of children making corner bookmarks

Crazy corner bookmark making

At both events we had a craft table for kids where they could make and/or decorate a corner bookmark. Emily cut and folded over 200 pieces of coloured paper in preparation, but it was all worthwhile to see the fantastic creations that everyone worked so hard on.

Jim Smith drawing

A visit from Jim Smith

We knew Barnes was going to be something special when the very first visitor to our stand was none other than Jim Smith, author of the fantastic Barry Loser series. Even better, Sarah’s son Ted became the model at Jim Smith’s event and the portrait is now proudly displayed in her kitchen!

Interview with Jo Cummins

We were delighted when Jo Cummins – book fanatic, teacher and blogger extraordinaire – stopped for a chat on our stand. She was producing a special edition of her Library Girl and Book Boy podcast all about Barnes Children’s Literature Festival and included an interview with Sarah alongside her chats with the phenomenal S.F.Said, author of Varjak Paw, and dynamic duo Steven Butler and Steven Lenton, author and illustrator of The Nothing to See Here Hotel.

Chiddingstone Castle

Beautiful Chiddingstone Castle

The weather may not have been brilliant but spending two days in such a beautiful location certainly made up for it. We were also lucky enough to sample some of the cakes on offer in the tea room and can heartily recommend them!

Parrot Street's blue gazebo

Our brilliant blue gazebo

Despite being novices at putting it up, we were so grateful for the protection it offered from wind, rain and even the sunshine! We survived all four days with our stock and gazebo intact and look forward to rolling it out again at Wealden Literary Festival in a few weeks’ time too!


Find out more about our fantastic book subscriptions here.