Bath-based kids lit experts Gill and John McLay have launched a brand new not-for-profit venture – Wonder (www.eventsofwonder.com) – a year-round series of entertaining and inspiring children’s book events in Bath, Bristol and beyond.

Capturing imaginations and inspiring future storytellers, Wonder’s aim is to not only bring some of the biggest selling children’s authors and illustrators on the planet to our cities, but also to celebrate emerging talent, offer workshops and clubs that centre around hobbies, favourite characters and games, and to bring the magic of stories into creative spaces that spark kids’ imagination.

The first events of Wonder for 2020 have been announced – beginning with award-winning illustrator Levi Pinfold for an in conversation event on Tuesday, 4 February at Waterstones Bath to help celebrate Harry Potter Book Night (6 February).  Levi is the Australian-based illustrator of the anniversary House Editions of the Harry Potter series. Michelle Harrison, author of the bestselling A Pinch of Magic will be signing copies of her new novel A Sprinkle of Sorcery in Waterstones Bath on Saturday, 8 February. On Sunday, 8 March, illustrator and suffragette descendant Kate Pankhurst will be celebrating International Women’s Day with a special event at Bath’s Royal High School. On Saturday, 28 March – in a special collaboration with Bath’s Historic Venues – historian and TV presenter Lucy Worsley will be giving a special talk about her new book, The Austen Girls, at The Assembly Rooms in Bath.

Working with many of Bath’s brilliant booksellers – including Waterstones, Mr B.’s Emporium of Reading Delights and Topping & Co. – more Wonder events are to be announced soon.

From 10 to 18 October, the first Wonder festival will be staged in Bath across a variety of the cities’ modern and classic venues. Events large and small, for public and schools, will see some of the world’s most amazing authors, artists and storytellers for families come together for a new, exciting and distinct celebration of story, imagination and creativity.

John says, “Wonder is our chance to do something different for the young book-lovers of Bath. We’ll be staging amazing events, throughout the year, and not only each Autumn during our big Wonder festival. There’ll be talks, signings, workshops, clubs, screenings – all with exciting big names from the world of children’s books and loads of new names too. We want to champion new talent, local authors and interesting venues.”

Gill says, “It’s really exciting to be bringing everything we do under one umbrella brand – Wonder! For a long time we have celebrated art, story, author and illustrators and it’s important that we create more opportunities to discover them.”

Gill & john McLay

Tickets for all Wonder events are on sale via The Bath Hive (www.thebathhive.co.uk), a ‘What’s On’ of children and family events created by Wonder to make life easy for parents and guardians, and to support venues that encourage creative learning.

To be the first to hear about new Wonder events, sign up to Wonder’s newsletter here: www.eventsofwonder.com, and follow Wonder on Twitter @eventsofwonder, and on Instagram @eventsofwonder

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