Puffin is launching a seven-day online festival in partnership with Waterstones on 8th June, The Festival of Big Dreams, featuring a range of its authors and illustrators including Jacqueline Wilson and Nick Sharratt.
The aim of the festival is "to inspire children to keep on dreaming during Covid-19" and to celebrate Puffin’s 80th birthday. Other featured Penguin authors and illustrators include: Robin Stevens (Murder Most Unladylike), Nathan Bryon & Dapo Adeola (Look Up!), Carrie Hope Fletcher (Into the Spotlight), Sam Copeland (Charlie Changes into a Chicken), Nadia Shireen (Bumblebear), Stuart Heritage and Nicola Slater (Jonathan the Magic Pony), Jamie Littler (Frostheart), Rashmi Sirdeshpande (How to be Extraordinary), Yassmin Abdel-Magied (My Name is Layla) and Lucy Hawking (Unlocking the Universe).
It will be hosted by former "Blue Peter" presenter Radzi Chinyanganya on Puffin’s YouTube and Facebook Live channels, where the authors and illustrators will be running writing masterclasses, draw-alongs and setting creative challenges. Each event will be themed around dreams and every weekday, from 8th to 12th June, and families will be able to enjoy two new videos from the line-up, culminating in a "live, interactive extravaganza" on the weekend of 13th and 14th June.
Sharratt will be illustrating "big dreams" submitted by children using the hashtag #PuffinDreamer and creating a collage of children’s dreams "to celebrate the power of imagination even during the most challenging times". There will be a special guest appearance from some real life puffins who reside on Coquet Island seabird sanctuary. Snippets from The Puffin Book of Big Dreams, out on 3rd September 2020, will also be shared as well as "a journey through Puffin’s magical 80-year history, revisiting an assortment of beloved stories and characters, past and present".
In the run-up to the festival, Puffin is running a competition in collaboration with National Book Tokens asking children (aged six to 18) to submit 300-word stories inspired by their big dreams. The winners, judged by several of the featured authors, will be revealed during the festival.
Wilson commented: "Like so many authors and illustrators, I'm really sad that all the school visits, bookshop events and literary festivals have been cancelled. I'm missing sharing stories and chatting to children, so I'm delighted to be able to take part in the Puffin Festival of Big Dreams so we can reach out to everyone at home or school and share the magic of stories."