Humdinger! of a festival to return next month

The Humdinger! Children’s Book Festival is set to return to Derry next month - and will bring awarded winning author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers to the city to inspire local children.

The festival, run by local multimedia company Dog Ears, will run from March 24 to 29 and follows on from the phenomenal success of the festival which first ran last year.

While last year Julia Donaldson, the woman behind The Gruffalo headlined, this year it is the turn of Belfast based author Oliver Jeffers who will headline a series of family-friendly events, designed to inspire a love of reading and spark the imagination.

Author of the delightful children’s book ‘How to Catch a Star’, Jeffers has become one of the best loved children’s authors and illustrators of our time.

He has created a number of highly-acclaimed books including: Lost and Found (which was made into a BAFTA-winning animated film), The Way Back Home, The Incredible Book Eating Boy, The Great Paper Caper, Up and Down and Stuck. He has also created a picture book series starring The Hueys (The New Jumper, It Wasn’t Me and None the Number) and illustrated The Day The Crayons Quit, a #1 New York Times bestseller. He has exhibited art all over the world, is highly sought after as a commercial artist, and has recently directed the video for the BAFTA-winning song from U2, Ordinary Love.

Fionnuala Deane, Managing Director, Dog Ears, said: “We were delighted with the success of our inaugural Humdinger! Children’s Book Festival last year. The response from families was phenomenal and we immediately started planning our 2014 event, working closely with Booktrust NI – compiling a wish list of guests we’d love to invite to the city.

“This year’s event is shaping-up to be bigger and better – and we’ve managed to book our dream guests, including Oliver Jeffers.”

Damian Smyth, Head of Literature, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added: “It is often the first stories we read that stay with us forever, firing the imagination and enticing a new generation of readers into the world of creativity and discovery.

“We are delighted to be able to support this fantastic event, which will give local children the opportunity to meet the people responsible for bringing some of their favourite characters to life and a valuable insight into their creative process.”