Festival organiser encourages early booking to avoid disappointment

Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney already sold out

Holly Black and Cassandra Clare will be live with their ‘King and Queen Tour’

Dubai February 2019: Bursting with fun and packed with enthralling storytellers, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature programme for children of all ages is selling fast.

The Festival offers a host of interactive sessions and workshops in Arabic and English covering mystery, mayhem and mischief, with a cast of characters featuring The Wimpy Kid, Bee Boy, The Demon Headmaster and more. The diverse programme features popular authors for every age group, from the free Creekside activities for the youngest, to the biggest names in YA literature, including Victoria Aveyard, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. Family-focused sessions cover anxiety, special needs topics and a fascinating guide to teenage guide to life online.

Children will have a chance to learn about how to climb Mount Everest, be a championship footballer or turn their stories into an animated film.

Weird and Wonderful

Heroic misfit Bee Boy is  the latest creation of illustrator Tony De Saulles, best known for the Horrible Science series. He will welcome visitors to an illustrated peek into his weird and wonderful world and to learn about his mission to save the universe. (Age Group: 7+)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be president of the USA, asks Tom McLaughlin. What about a secret agent? Father Christmas? The writer imagines what might happen if ordinary children suddenly found themselves in far from ordinary situations, with hilarious results. (Age Group: 7+)

Joshua Seigal has written some wonderful poems on all kinds of topics, from jungles to recycling. Children can join in and have fun with words as Joshua sets them on the path to expressing their thoughts and emotions while having a wonderful time too! (Age Group: 8+)

Characters Old and New

Visitors can meet characters old and new with award-winning author Pamela Butchart, the author of My Head Teacher is a Vampire Rat with her brand-new book, There’s a Yeti in the Playground.  Pamela is also writing a new story for Enid Blyton’s iconic and much-loved Secret Seven series, reuniting visitors to the Festival with Peter, Janet, George and the gang for another exciting adventure. (Age Group: 7+)

Children who love solving mysteries and pitting their wits against dastardly villains might have what it takes to be a great detective. They would enjoy Robin Stevens as she explores Murder Most Unladylike in a girls’ boarding school in the 1930’s with Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong hot on the sleuthing trail –allowing for bun breaks as needed! Mallory Towers meets Nancy Drew. (Age Group: 10+)

The first book in the Demon Headmaster series appeared in 1982 and his power to influence thoughts and deeds shows no sign of diminishing…How does author Gillian Cross think up the characters and plots? What is the secret of those hypnotic eyes? Visitors will find out in The Power of the Demon Headmaster. (Age Group: 7+)

Evil headmasters also make an appearance in Ross Montgomery’s Max and the Millions, as he asks, how would you feel if you discovered an entire microscopic world? This is exactly what happens to Max, who finds that he has to protect a tiny kingdom from its own conflicts and from his evil headmaster. Visitors will hear Ross Montgomery talk about his inspiration for the story and how he explored what it is like to be deaf in a hearing world, just like his character Max.
(Age Group: 8+)

Rediscover Emirati Folktales with Dubai Abulhoul, whose passion for traditional characters has inspired her to create new stories with a modern twist. She asks: should we judge people based on how they look or act? Come and hear about Abu Al Salasel, a strange creature with red skin who is covered in metal chains –   what is he REALLY like? (Age Group: 9+)

Beloved folk tales are also explored by storyteller and writer Chitra Soundar as she revisits the tales of her childhood with A Jar of Pickles and a Pinch of Justice These clever, funny trickster tales, full of humour and colour, are guaranteed to delight everyone. (Age Group: 7+)

Fun for Younger Readers

Artist Jon Burgerman takes younger children on a zany trip through a world of talking food in this delightfully interactive session based on his book How to Eat Pizza, (Age Group: 5+) then they can join in and draw their own characters.

Isadora Moon (Age Group: 5+) is a sparkly, twinkly, teeny-tiny fairy cum vampire. Being different, can take time to get used to but opens up the world in all sorts of wonderful ways. Young readers can join Isadora’s creator Harriet Muncaster for stories and drawings of Isadora’s adventures with the wizards, mermaids and dragons she meets in her colourful world.

Award-winning artist Maya Fidawi and author Maitha Al Khayat create fantastic books together, including Uncle Khalfan’s Sheep, Mum’s Amazing Socks and My Own Special Way.  In this madcap session (Age Group: Arabic 6-10) they ask children to take on their challenge and try to draw what they can’t see.

YA Highlights

YA fanswill be thrilled to have Victoria Aveyard, best known for her Red Queen series,

at the Festival. The exciting line-up also includes Taran Matharu, creator of the The Summoner,

and wildly popular authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, who will bring their ‘King and Queen Tour’ to Dubai with details of their latest books and stories from a longstanding literary friendship.

True Life Tales

From pirates and warrior queens to computer engineers and aviators, Festival goers will meet a cast of world-changing women with Kate Pankhurst, author of Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World and Fantastically Great Women Who Made History, on a journey through time to explore the stories, achievements and adventures of women throughout history. (Age Group: 7+)

When Dana Alblooshi was nine she trained at NASA and became the youngest Emirati to do so.  Now 12 years old, Dana is the author of a new book, 13 Amazing Women of Arabia. This session showcases some incredible women from the past and the present, presented by a young woman reaching for the stars herself. (Age Group: 11+)

Animation Antics

Giants of the animation world will share the secrets of bringing amazing characters to life. Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler are an Emmy Award-winning screenwriting duo who have scripted a host of children’s animated TV shows including Danger Mouse, Thunderbirds Are Go, Peter Rabbit, Octonauts and Shaun the Sheep. In their Defender of the Realm session (Age Group: 10+) there’ll be plenty of audience participation and writing tips to get started writing a superhero story.  They team up with author-illustrator Tom McLaughlin, a script writer and character designer for several animations, in a fascinating session for those who want to know more about bringing animated characters and storylines to life. Visitors can hear how the storytelling process differs in this medium, with three different takes from author-illustrators who have worked in animation in various ways. (Age Group: 9+)

I can…climb a mountain… or be the next Ronaldo…

Is there anything you can’t learn by studying football? Football School author journalist and football consultant Ben Lyttleton doesn’t think so. In this interactive event, fun is guaranteed for any child who comes along, football fan or not!
(Age Group: 8+)

Filmmaker Matt Dickinson’s passion for climbing led him to taking part in life-changing expeditions to Everest, K2 and Antarctica; as a real-life adventurer and gripping storyteller he will enthuse and enthral in equal measure. Matt’s own experience of climbing Everest and reaching its summit is expected to hold young audiences spellbound. (Age Group: 11+)

I can… conquer anything!

Did you know that All Birds Have Anxiety and All Cats Have Asperger’s? Award-winning author Kathy Hoopmann will show how she weaves stories around photos and special needs topics. This illuminating and important session is a must for anyone who would like to know more about these topics. (Age Group: 9+)

What happens to us all – young and old – when we spend time on the internet? Nicola Morgan explores the research into how the internet and screen-use affect our ability to concentrate, our mood and sleep patterns in The Teenage Guide to Life Online. Fake news, online privacy and the risk of sharing too much information – these topics concern everyone and Nicola’s books are for families to share: a way for teenagers, their parents, teachers and carers to inform themselves about the many advantages and risks of life online. (Age Group: 12+)

The Festival programme is brimming with sessions to engage, entertain and inform, with topics encompassing fiction, history, current affairs, food, health, travel, biography, business and more.  There are opportunities to appreciate poetry, take part in creative writing workshops and generally indulge in intelligent and articulate discussion on a wide range of topics. Sessions appeal to all ages and nationalities, featuring outstanding authors, thinkers and opinion formers.

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. The Festival is organised in partnership with Emirates Airline and Dubai Culture & Art Authority. The Festival will be kicking off Dubai Culture’s flagship art initiative Dubai Art Season (DAS), which features a two-month citywide activation of art events across Dubai.

For the full list of authors, visit emirateslitfest.com/authors

More information about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature can be found online. The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will take place 1-9 March 2019. Fans can keep up to date with #DubaiLitFest action on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and year-round news of #ELFDubai on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.