With Christmas approaching, take a peek at Book Events for Children’s Advent Calendar, which features a delightful book-related event to enjoy each day in the run-up to Christmas (from 1st-24th December). Events across the country range from festive French puppetry in Edinburgh to an interactive interpretation of ‘Narnia’ in a former church in Leeds. Younger children will be cheering for Stick Man in his quest to find his lady love before the big day, whilst over at The Roald Dahl Museum, the Big Friendly Poet invites you to join him for some Christmas rapping
1st. The Narnia Experience, Left Bank Leeds
C S Lewis’ Narnia books are brought to life in a truly interactive theatrical experience in Leeds. Set in a former church, theatre-goers step through a curtain of fur coats to follow either Lucy or Edmund’s route, meeting Aslan and the White Witch. Beware, there may be a wolf chase!
2nd. ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Bah, humbug! Will the miserly Scrooge change his mean-spirited ways after meeting his three ghostly visitors? Festive theatre adapted from Charles Dickens’ classic tale.
3rd. ‘The Very Snowy Christmas’ at Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham
Big Mouse and Little Mouse invite you to join them in Blunderbus’ take on Diana Hendry and Jane Chapman’s story. Lots of audience involvement to help you kick-start the festivities.
4th. Magical Nativity Fairy Storytime at Ingleton Library
Visit Ingleton Library, on the border of Yorkshire and Lancashire for a fun-filled festive storytime for the under fives.
5th. ‘Guinea Pig Nativity’ at Waterstones Burton-on-Trent
An unusual take on the Nativity with guinea pigs photographed in the major roles. Come along to the bookshop and you may get your hands on your own signed ‘paw’ copy of the book.
6th. ‘Father Christmas’ at West Yorkshire Playhouse’, Leeds
It’s another bloomin’ Christmas! Celebrating 40 years since the publication of Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas, follow our hero’s adventures as his summer break is rudely interrupted. Cat and Dog will be on hand causing mischief too, no doubt.
7th. Christmas Family Day at Blackwell’s, Oxford
C S Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia is the theme of this year’s free Christmas Family Day at Blackwell’s Oxford Bookshop. As well as activities for children, there’s a chance to win a family ticket to a theatrical performance of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
8th. Bree Waine at Waterstones Sunderland
Meet children’s author Bree Waine, who’ll be signing copies of her Christmas book, James and the Christmas Train. Find out how James comes up with an idea to repay Father Christmas for all his kindness.
9. ‘Horrible Histories: Horrible Christmas’ at Derby Theatre
Horrible Histories goes festive this winter when Terry Deary’s Horrible Christmas is given a theatrical makeover at Derby Theatre.
10th. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ at The Unicorn Theatre, London
Most of us could probably recite at least some of Clement Clarke Moore’s poem, set on Christmas Eve. Moore wrote the poem for his young daughters in 1823 and this gentle adaptation will delight children today.
11th. ‘Stick Man’ at Leicester Square Theatre, London
Scamp Theatre recreate the magic of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Stick Man. Can Stick Man make it back to the safety of the family tree before Christmas?
12th. ‘The Snowman and the Snowdog Live’ at the Union Chapel, London
Come along as the former Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows and Ilan Eshkeri perform their BAFTA-nominated soundtrack to The Snowman and the Snowdog. They’ll be joined by The London Metropolitan Orchestra.
13th. ‘The Snow Queen’ at St Mary’s Centre, Chester
Theatre in the Quarter interpret Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen for audiences in Chester this winter.
14th. Santa vs Scrooge, Oxford
Explore Oxford Castle and keep an eye out for popular festive characters. Will Santa be able to change Scrooge’s miserly outlook and encourage him to celebrate the spirit of Christmas?
15th. ‘Christmas Rapping’ at The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Buckinghamshire
Paul Lyalls, the Big Friendly Poet in Residence invites you to join him at The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre for some Christmas Rapping. Write Dahl-inspired poetry and create some crafty wrapping with your rapping!
16th. ‘Dark Wood, Deep Snow. A Grimm Tale for Christmas’ at Northern Stage, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Inspired by the dark tales of the Brothers Grimm, Northern Stage’s Christmas show features song, stories and a good sprinkling of festive chaos.
17th. ‘The Snow Spider’ at The Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham
Rural Wales is recreated in this adaptation of Jenny Nimmo’s book The Snow Spider, which is adapted by Io Theatre Company.
18th. ‘Festive SnowParty’ at Seven Stories, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Festive storytelling at Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books. Come along and listen to Layn Marlow’s festive tale You Make Me Smile. Guaranteed to make you smile yourself!
19th. ‘Royal Scottish National Orchestra: Christmas Concert’ at Music Hall, Aberdeen
Family-friendly concert with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Highlights include a big-screen showing of The Snowman, accompanied by the orchestra and narrated by a special guest.
20th. ‘Lapin Wants To See Santa’ at The Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
A gentle introduction to French in this puppet show in English with French keywords. Follow the adventures of Lapin and Papa Noel. Suitable for all non-French speakers.
21st. ‘Father Christmas Grotto and Winter Wonderland’ at Just Imagine Story Centre, Chelmsford
‘The Polar Express’ inspires this year’s Grotto and Winter Wonderland . Enjoy festive storytelling, followed by craft-making in the elves’ workshop and a special visitor.
22nd. ‘Christmas Stories with Santa’ at RHS Harlow Carr Gardens, Harrogate
Step into Harlow Carr’s grotto to enjoy a Christmas tale with Santa. A warm welcome guaranteed!
23rd. ‘The Snow Dragon’ at Watermans, Brentford
Enter the mysterious world of The Snow Dragon as Tall Stories leads you on an adventure with storytelling and songs, ideal for children aged 3 and above.
24th. ‘The Snowman’ at The Peacock Theatre, London
What better way to round off our Advent Calendar than with an adaptation of Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman, which has become synonymous with Christmas. Look up and you may see a snowman flying through the air above your heads!