Our 2023 HAYDAYS programme invites children and young adults to explore their creativity, curiosity and connection with authors, poets, illustrators, performers, scientists and environmentalists. Find all your favourite authors plus some new discoveries below.
To find more events and workshops for students visit our Education page
It’s 60 years since the publication of John Burningham’s touching tale, Borka: The Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers. One of the goslings in Mr & Mrs Plumpster’s gaggle is born looking a bit different. Borka has no feathers and cannot fly. When winter comes the other geese fly off in search of warmer climates, leaving Borka all alone. Can she find her own place in the world?
Performing arts company Ignite Music celebrates the anniversary with a magical children’s opera based on Burningham’s book, by Tim Yealland and Russell Hepplewhite, including live music, puppetry and digital animation.
Prepare yourself for an exciting prehistoric adventure with TV scientist Garrod, exploring the biggest, deadliest and weirdest predators that ever roamed the planet. Garrod’s unique mix of humour and science will shine a new light on the ever popular world of dinosaurs. Garrod is professor of evolutionary biology and science engagement at the University of East Anglia, and worked with Sir David Attenborough on the BBC’s Attenborough and the Mammoth Graveyard documentary.
Get set for some supercharged family fun with David Walliams’ latest novel, an action-packed comic caper set in a city called Bedlam, about the Police Dog School’s newest recruit and future of crime fighting: Robodog. Despite his inexperience, it’s up to Robodog to help stop the most feared duo in Bedlam, and their evil plans to ruin the city. David introduces his unlikely heroes, despicable baddies and a comedic cast of characters including an ice queen, a giant worm and a dastardly collective of cats.
Mystery and myth await you as debut author Clara Kumagai spins the tale of a Japan fractured in time by an infamous monster. There’s a catfish under the islands and when it rolls the land rises and falls. Sora hates the catfish, whose rolling caused an earthquake so powerful it cracked time itself. It destroyed her home and took her mother. After Sora’s father goes missing too, she has no choice but to venture into uncharted spaces within the ruptured time zones to find him, her mother and perhaps even the catfish itself...
This outstanding coming-of-age YA novel weaves themes of identity, ecology, loss and love. Set in a world of Japanese myth, folklore and magical realism, it’s perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli.
Find your inner fire in this interactive event with Lee Newbery. He’ll introduce his magical novel The Last Firefox and its sequel The First Shadowdragon, a heartwarming story about family and friendship. Explore Newbery’s writing journey and inspiration, then design your own magical creature in a Pokémon card activity and take part in a Welsh animal words quiz! The event will also offer a sensitive introduction to adoption for children in the audience, and celebrate all the different types of families in the world.
Explore friendship and what really matters in families with author Anna Woltz and translator David Colmer as they discuss this funny and heartwarming novel featuring 12-year-old Tess and her friend Sam, on a mission to find a missing dad. My Especially Weird Week with Tess has been made into an award-winning film, My Extraordinary Summer with Tess.