2016 Schools Programme Top Picks

The Book Festival’s Baillie Gifford Schools Programme is open for booking. If you haven’t yet got your hands on the programme and booked your tickets we’ve put together some top picks to help you choose:

Picture Book Events

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Canine Capers with Yuval Zommer
Mon 29 Aug, 10.00am-11.00am

One Hundred Bones is a lovely story by author and illustrator Yuval Zommer of an underdog who comes out as top dog when he finds some buried bones which turn out to be a dinosaur.

We love how Scruff persuades the other hoity-toity dogs to get down and dirty with him to uncover the dinosaur bones, and then they all set off on the bus to the city to show the Palaeontologist their find.

Yuval’s event promises to be full of engaging doggy stories, drawing and activities – perfect as an introduction to the Book Festival for young pupils.


Delicious Friendships with Morag Hood
Tues 30 Aug, 1.30pm-2.30pm

Colin and Lee Carrot and Pea is one of our books of the Festival this year. It’s a lovely story of unusual friendship but the straightforward style and Morag Hood’s illustrations are just hilarious.

The lovely pictures were also all created from recycled materials so a great follow-up to the event would be to get your class using their imaginations to create their own pictures of vegetable friends using recycled materials such as carrier bags and cardboard packaging.

Older Primary Events


Amazing Plants with Christiane Dorion
Fri 26 Aug, 12.15pm-1.15pm

We love finding out about the fascinating plants in our world, and think it’s so important to instill an interest in, and love of, plants and nature in primary school children… even if that might mean introducing them to flowers which smell like dead horses and plants which feed on rat droppings…!

That’s exactly what this interactive event with Christiane Dorion will do as she leads your class on an exciting exploration of the most amazing plants. It’s a great introduction to the start of a topic on nature, or an opportunity to then go on a class trip to see what exciting plants you can find.

Christiane’s books are really tactile, with lots of pop-up and lift the flap elements, so children can’t resist exploring them and discovering the exciting facts which are hidden within the pages.

Senior School Events

James Ley portrait

Love Song to Lavender Menace: The History of LGBT Literature
Weds 24 Aug, 10.30am-11.30am

Set in 1987, Love Song to Lavender Menace, by playwright James Ley, tells the story of Edinburgh’s radical LGBT Bookshop, and the lives of the people involved. In this special schools event pupils will watch an extract from the play, which will feature authors appearing at the Book Festival, and then join in a discussion with Ley and the performers.

There’s so much going on in this event – a live performance, a discussion with the playwright and authors participating, as well as issues including censorship, LGBT writing and Edinburgh’s literary history. It’s a great event for anyone, but would also be of particular interest to LGBT groups or drama, politics or social studies classes.

To find out a little bit more about Love Song to Lavender Menace watch the video below.

Embed with games

The Mad World of Gaming with Cara Ellison
Weds 24 Aug, 1.30pm-2.30pm

If you’ve got a class of too-cool-for-school senior pupils, who would rather be glued to computer games than reading a book, let alone writing anything – then bring them to our event with Cara Ellison.

A couple of years ago Cara left her home and spent a year travelling the world and living on the couches of games developers, interviewing them, and getting to the heart of games culture. The result, Embed with Games, is an honest, gritty and thoroughly fascinating insight in the computer games industry, which is bound to challenge your pupils’ ideas about writing, gaming and, to be honest, the Book Festival.

To find our more have a look at Cara’s blog caraellison.co.uk
Full booking information is on page 41 of the programme.