More than 6,000 tickets have already been sold ahead of this year’s Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, which is celebrating its fifth birthday.

The volunteer-led festival, which last year saw more than 8,500 tickets sold for 80 events and £18,000 worth of books bought, is set to launch on May 8 ahead of many of the main events on the weekend of May 11 and 12.

This year’s event will be led by UK Laureate Lauren Child and master story tellers Judith Kerr, Michael Rosen, David Almond, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Francesca Simon.

Founder and director Amanda Brettargh said: “We're very proud of the fact that London’s largest children’s books event is organised by families for families and we're totally committed to making sure they have an amazing time.

“That's why at Barnes we programme books as film, theatre, music, maths, science, art, craft, football, whatever it takes to bring the magic of reading, writing and creativity to the kids.”

This year 4,500 children will have the opportunity to engage with their favourite authors and illustrators including a rare schools’ performance by Britain's beloved poet, Roger McGough, Paralympian, television presenter and author, Ade Adepitan and the BookTrust Writer in Residence Nadia Shireen.

To date, confirmed authors and illustrators include Judith Kerr, David Almond, Lauren Child, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Francesca Simon, Costa winner Hilary McKay, Holly Smale, Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, Candy Gourlay, Sam Usher, Jessie Burton, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Emma Carroll, Robin Stevens, and Matthew Syed.

This year’s highlights include the London premieres of the outdoor theatre performance of The Lost Words: Seek Find Speak, based on the acclaimed illustrated book by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris and a hilarious new interactive show from the Roald Dahl Estate.

Other firsts for Barnes this year include their unique programme for babies from six months to two years old and dedicated programming for families with children with special and extra needs.

The full programme and more information can be found at