Big DoG and Friends Bound Back to Dumfries for Children’s Book Festival

Become a dinosaur detective, have afternoon tea with pirates or get your hands on the brand new adventures of Clarice Bean. 

Tickets go on sale on 9 February for this year’s Big DoG festival of children’s literature which takes place from 22 to 24 March in Dumfries.

The programme, unveiled today, features a multitude of authors, illustrators, storytellers, performers and others, offering an abundance of events for children, young adults and families.

Among the well-known names at Big DoG will be former Children’s Laureate, the best-selling author and illustrator Lauren Child, who will take part in three events. One introduces Smile, the latest in her hugely popular Clarice Bean series, which began 25 years ago in 1999.

The book is only officially published on 28 March, but Lauren will bring some along, so fans attending the event will be the first to be able to get hold of a copy.

The story was inspired by what children told her about their worries for the planet and by her own climate change concerns.

In the story, Clarice faces her family and the world with her usual brand of cheerful optimism and curiosity even when things appear impossible to fix.

Lauren said: “I’m really looking forward to taking part in Big DoG and talking about the new book. It came about because I decided I needed to write about my fears, but really look at them through someone else’s eyes. It helps give a new perspective.
“I wondered what Clarice would do. I thought her curiosity would inspire her to see the extraordinary in the ordinary – the most incredible being how it’s the tiniest of creatures that support all life on earth. Looking at the tiny helps you find your place in the world, helps you understand how important you are and how you can make a difference.”

Among the many other events will be Dinosaur Detectives, presented by Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre. Puppetry, projections and shadow theatre are combined to tell the tale of the first fossil hunters.

Then there’s the choice of having afternoon tea, or even breakfast, at Moat Brae, and enjoy lots of Peter Pan inspired fun and games with The Storyweavers.

As well as the public events, Big DoG is supporting Dumfries and Galloway schools with a free education programme.

Teachers can now book tickets for the Big DoG Schools Gala Day on Friday, 22 March.

Based at The Bridge on Glasgow Road, it will be lots of fun and give 600 of the region’s primary school pupils the chance to meet Lauren Child along with Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre – the creators of Adventuremice.

Andy Stewart, Big DoG’s Producer, said: “There’s loads to enjoy at this year’s Big DoG – with authors, illustrators, storytellers and performers from all across Scotland, the rest of the UK and from here in Dumfries and Galloway.
“Over the years the event has kept on growing and now there are venues all across Dumfries taking part – and this year we have one of our best line-ups ever with all sorts of fun and colourful activities to suit children, young adults and for the whole family.”
  • Big DoG is devised and produced by Wigtown Festival Company and delivered in partnership with Moat Brae, DG Arts Festival, PlayTalkRead and PAMIS.