Sunday, September 27, 2020 - October 2, 2020
Special Event, Virtual: Festivals | Free Events


Cost: Free

The Toronto International Festival of Authors is thrilled to join forces with the Bath Children’s Literature Festival and other international book festivals, to present six days of free, inclusive and engaging digital events for schools and families. Step into a world of creativity this fall with the Reading is Magic Festival, inspired by Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2019-2022 Cressida Cowell’s key message ‘reading is magic, and magic is for everyone’. The award-winning children’s author and creator of How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once book will play a key role in the festival.

The Reading is Magic Festival will promote creativity and connection through stories and shared experiences, creating content for children and young people in primary and secondary schools. The Festival will open its virtual doors on Sunday, September 27, 2020. A week-long schedule of daily events will follow with Cressida joined by an all-star lineup of leading authors and illustrators.

Featured authors and illustrators will include:

  • Cressida Cowell
  • Dapo Adeola & Nathan Byron
  • Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet
  • Jasbinder Bilan
  • Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  • Sophy Henn
  • Steven Lenton
  • Steven Butler
  • Jospeh Coelho
  • And more to be announced…

Schools can incorporate the Festival events into a learning programme, to be viewed either at point of broadcast or as on demand afterwards. Online materials and resources will support each event with book buying opportunities promoted via local independent bookstores. Fun Kids Radio is a festival media partner for the festival and will be interviewing authors and running competitions in the run up to the festival.

Cressida Cowell leans over a white picket fence and smiles at the camera

Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2019–2022: “I was delighted when Bath Festivals suggested the Reading is Magic Festival in partnership with a network of other festivals, based on some of the themes in my Waterstones Children’s Laureate Charter – the giant ‘to do list’ I announced on my appointment as Children’s Laureate Research shows that reading for the joy of it has powerful, measurable real-life benefits that can transform lives. This ‘magic’ ought to be available to everyone which is why the work literature festivals do with their local school communities to inspire a love of reading is so important. I am excited that the wonderful virtual programme of events in the Reading is Magic Festival will be available, for free, to schools up and down the country and internationally, so that young people, whether at home or in their classroom bubbles can experience the magic of books and reading.”

More details of the events programme and how to access them will be announced ahead of the new academic year. Schools and families can sign up now to receive email updates.

Partnering Festivals

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