Being able to lose yourself in a good book has always been a welcome opportunity so it is unsurprising that many people have chosen to escape from the past year’s uncertainty into less restrictive fictional worlds.

But celebrating stories as always been a shared activity too and one organisation working hard to make sure it can still honour this is the Newark Book Festival.

“Our 2021 festival may look a little different to what you are used to; our venues have changed to ensure we can provide a Covid-safe festival and they reflect changes in venue capacities and funding,” explains Newark Book Festival Artistic Director Sara Bullimore.

“But nonetheless we are delighted to bring you a varied, fun, informative and inspiring programme. With events online and in person, outdoors and (safely) indoors, there is something for everyone.”

And “everyone” most definitely includes mini readers.

The Tale of the Whale by Nottinghamshire author Karen Swann will provide the inspiration behind a Family Book Trail running throughout the festival weekend (July 8th to 11th).

Age 3 to 5 year olds can take their grown ups along to a storytelling session on Friday, July 9th at 10am at Beanblock Café where they can join Izzy Wheeldon and hear all about Clarence the Cockerel.

And a Schools Day, including Kerry Drewery and Jess Kidd, will take place online -contact the festival team for further information.

But, of course, it’s the Saturday and Sunday (July 10th and 11th) that sees lots of children’s events programmed in for when your mini ones have escaped the school gates for 48 hours.

Storytelling inspired by The Snail and the Whale, The Enormous Crocodile and time travel with Lincolnshire’s own Rhubarb Theatre, imagining what the world would be like if everyone was kind to each other with Nottinghamshire author Becky Goddard-Hill, following simple steps to build toys with Alom Shaha of Mr Shaha’s Marvellous Machines, visiting the book festival Wonderland at the Castle and winding down with some bedtime stories at the Palace Theatre are all activities welcoming mini audience members.

And, as the festival theme for 2021 is Our Stories, don’t forget to take the time for your young ones to share their stories, of home, how they stay happy and what they’ve been reading.

Booking for all events is recommended due to differing capacities. Visit for further information.