2019 › Stafford

Hilary McKay and Maria Parr in conversation with Nicolette Jones

Join us for a fascinating morning with authors Hilary McKay and Maria Parr who will be discussing their novels The Skylarks' War (winner of the 2018 Costa Children’s Book Award) and Waffle Hearts (shortlisted for the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation) with Nicolette Jones, children’s book editor at the Sunday Times.

Meet the young heroines from both novels; the generous, kindhearted and endlessly courageous Clarry in The Skylarks' War, and the indomitable, fierce warmth and humour of Lena in Waffle Hearts. Both stories examine the depths of friendship, family and what sustains us in the face of grief and loss. This event provides a perfect opportunity for children to find out about the working lives of these authors and to hear how they created their characters and wrote these stories. With plenty of opportunity to ask questions and to listen to live readings from the books, this event will help inspire a young audience with the joy of reading.

The Stafford Gatehouse, Stafford, ST16 2LT
Tuesday, 24th September 2019
10:30 am
Approx. 1 hour
Age range:
Years 5 and 6
£5 per child, teachers FREE

Hilary McKay

Hilary McKay writes novels for children that often feature eccentric and deeply endearing characters and describe the escapades and traumas of family life in hilarious detail. She is well known for her series about the Casson family and also The Exiles. Her latest novel The Skylarks’ War (winner of The Costa Children’s Book Award 2018) brings us the wonderful character of Clarry, a young girl who shows great strength in the face of adversity and is unfailingly kind. Set against the brutal backdrop of the First World War we are drawn into the vivid world of this story, of Clarry, Peter, Rupert and Simon the Bony One, of love, family and loss.

Praise of The Skylarks' War

“This belongs among the classic of children’s literature . . . Funny, sad, warm, it is about growing up and finding what you love, intellectually and emotionally.”

The Sunday Times, Children's Book of the Week

Maria Parr

Maria Parr is from Norway. Her debut novel Waffle Hearts has won several prizes, has been translated into 15 languages and has also been made into a popular children's series for Norwegian TV. Maria lives in Norway with her family and works as a primary school teacher. When she's not teaching she loves writing books for children.

Perfect for fans of Pippi Longstocking, Waffle Hearts is a heartbreaking, heartmaking, hilariously funny tale... This really is a tremendous book, with everything I could hope for in a book to share with my children; beauty, wit, wisdom, joy, thoughtfulness and a lot of fun.

Playing by the Book

Book tickets for an event and receive two free books for your classroom!

How to book tickets

Free Workshops!

The Children’s Bookshow will allocate four free in-classroom workshops with Daniel Morden to schools attending this performance with 30 or more children. Book tickets for this event to have a chance of being chosen to receive this fantastic opportunity.

Find out more:

We feel it is so beneficial for our children to have the opportunity to meet authors and to hear them talk about their work. The children themselves are so enthusiastic about reading after these events that we feel they are an invaluable contribution towards our children becoming both skilled readers and lovers of reading.

A teacher in Liverpool

The details

  • Please arrive at the venue at least 20 minutes before the start of the performance, so that you have enough time to find your seats and and use the bathroom. Our start times are strictly governed by the theatres that we work with and by the start and end times of the school day. If you are unavoidably delayed, please get in touch with your Children’s Bookshow contact as soon as possible.
  • Don't forget! There will be a bookstall at this event and the opportunity after the performance for children to buy a book and have it signed by Hilary McKay and Maria Parr.
  • Depending on the time of the performance, you may want your children to bring a packed lunch. (Please contact the theatre directly to check if there is a suitable space.)
  • Parking facilities vary from theatre to theatre; please check the theatre website for details.
  • Please contact the theatre directly for risk assessment information.
  • Please ensure your children have visited the bathroom before the show starts, or ask them to wait until after the performance ends. A constant stream of children getting up to go to the toilet is very distracting for our performers and other members of the audience.

Have any questions? Get in touch

Jo Daley

Your contact for this performance is Jo Daley, she will be happy to answer any queries you have:

07769 216493