Simon Pegg, Holly Smale, Lauren Child and Alex Scarrow at Hertford Children’s Book Festival

Actor Simon Pegg

Actor Simon Pegg - Credit: Archant

SOME star-studded names from the literary world will be encouraging children to read in Hertfordshire next month.

Freya North

Freya North - Credit: Archant

Hertford Theatre is hosting the Hertford Children’s Book Festival in October, with The World’s End actor and screenwriter Simon Pegg one of the big names helping out.

Holly Smale wrote Geek Girl

Holly Smale wrote Geek Girl - Credit: Archant

The Hot Fuzz star will be swapping the fictional town of Newton Haven – scene of blockbuster apocalyptic sci-fi comedy The World’s End – for entertaining youngsters as part of the festival.

The cover of Lauren Child's book Take Your Last Breath

The cover of Lauren Child's book Take Your Last Breath - Credit: Archant

Now living in Hertfordshire, the award-winning actor, comedian and writer will be at Hertford Theatre to read and then re-enact some favourite children’s stories on Saturday, October 5 at 3.30pm.

Michael Rosen in Centrally Heated Knickers

Michael Rosen in Centrally Heated Knickers - Credit: Archant

This event is specifically for children, with accompanying adults only, and tickets cost £3.


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Pegg’s appearance is just one of a series of events planned for the Hertford Children’s Book Festival.

The line-up also includes Lauren Child, Holly Smale and Alex Scarrow, along with utterly charming puppetry from Widdershins Theatre and their tale of Three Billy Goats Gruff.

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Award-winning author Lauren Child will come to Hertford on Thursday, October 3 at 10.30am to talk death-defying adventures, evil villains, super rich – but quite embarrassing – parents and lots of cool gadgets.

The Take Your Last Breath writer will talk about her third book featuring Ruby Redfort, the code-cracking secret agent, genius and schoolgirl. Tickets for this event cost £3.

Freya North will chair a panel of best-selling children’s authors at the festival’s So You Think You Can Write Children’s Books evening on Thursday, October 3 at 7.30pm.

Suitable for ages 14 plus, Freya will be joined by a panel of literary agents and authors. Tickets are £5.

It is the turn of Welwyn Garden City-born Holly Smale to talk to youngsters the following day.

Holly spent her teenage years hiding in the school toilets, followed by two years modelling, falling over on catwalks and breaking things she couldn’t afford to replace.

This experience inspired her highly-acclaimed Geek Girl series and she will talk about her heroine – and her own madcap path to becoming an author – on Friday, October 4 at 10.30am.

From rock guitarist, graphic artist and computer games designer to international bestselling author, Alex Scarrow will be talking about his acclaimed TimeRiders series on Sunday, October 6 at 2pm.

That’s not all, for families and schools, The Homemade Orchestra, featuring Michael Rosen, presents Centrally Heated Knickers at Hertford Theatre.

This is a wonderful opportunity to see this children’s poet in action, with performances on Friday, October 4 at 10am and 1pm.

To book tickets, call the box office on 01992 531500 or visit www.hertfordtheatre.com

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