February 2019

Find out about children's book events taking place this February.


1 February: The Branford Boase Award longlist will be announced today. Which debut authors will be nominated alongside their editors?

7 February: Expecto patronum! It's Harry Potter Book Night - which is one of the best nights of the year, in our opinion! Time to release your inner witch or wizard with the 'Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry' theme and pretend you really did receive that life-changing letter...

7 February:  Flights of Fancy is published today! Walker Books have curated a collection of stories, poems and pictures from each of the ten previous Children's Laureates, and £1 from every copy sold will be donated to BookTrust. Look out for an abundance of Laureate-themed events from February to May in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Children's Laureate.

10 February: For one day only, JW3 is turned into a fun-filled dream machine filled with discovery and imagination for Bookniks, the children's book festival. Discover fantasy creatures, journey across oceans and imaginary worlds, see what your own stories look like as an illustrated book, learn how to be a cartoonist and much more. There'll be a whole day packed with author talks, workshops, puppetry, storytelling, and a pop-up bookshop from West End Lane Books, all designed to inspire and enthral bookworms aged two to teens (and everything in between). The full line-up will be released in early 2019 – follow @jw3london on Twitter for updates, including a big author announcement in January. 

13-24 February: Imagine Children's Festival returns to the Southbank Centre for another fantastic programme of events to provide some fun half term activities. There will be something for any child aged between 0 and 12, and an abundance of well-loved children's authors will be making an appearance.

14 February: Forget Valentine's Day: the most important thing about today is International Book Giving Day! It's a day that encourages people worldwide to give a book to a child. 

14 February: Now, this is exciting - kicking off today in Horsham is a brand new Tom Gates stage show! Based on Liz Pichon's beloved books, this brand new story is bound to make you giggle and what a treat to see the characters coming to life. After Horsham, the show will tour across the nation - for a full list of dates, check the website here.

16 February: It's time for Waterstones Children's Laureate: Celebrating 20 Years. Ten incredible authors and illustrators have held the vital role of the Children's Laureate over the past 20 years, igniting imaginations and championing the extraordinary world of children's books. Join Jacqueline Wilson, Malorie Blackman and Chris Riddell at the Southbank Centre's Imagine Festival for a glimpse behind the scenes of the League of Laureates. This wonderful event is definitely not to be missed - and it's just one part of the Children's Laureate 20th anniversary celebrations this year. Check out more information here.

17 February: Why not celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day by giving someone a book or reading them a story...? 

26 February: Tell an existing fairy tale to a child, or even make up your own on Tell a Fairy Tale Day. Share your stories on social media using the hashtag #TellAFairyTaleDay.

28 February: The longlist announcement for the Jhalak Prize happens today. Will it include at least one children's book? This is a prize aims to seek out the best books by British resident BAME writers from all genres of books, and it's definitely worth checking out!

Also in February: The  Klaus Flugge longlist will be announced. This is an award which celebrates the most promising newcomer to the children's picture book illustration scene; last year, it was won by Kate Milner with her book My Name Is Not Refugee. This year's shortlist will be announced in May before the winner is crowned in September.