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Maidenhead's Big Read in the Maidenhead Library for World Book Day

Maidenhead’s Big Read: World Book Day Events

Maidenhead’s Big Read will return to Maidenhead to coincide with World Book Day which happens in March. This year, the theme will be ‘Step Back in Time’, with a jam-packed weekend of free fun events at the Maidenhead Library.

There will be events running all day at the Maidenhead Library, St Ives Road on Saturday 2nd March and Sunday 3rd March 2024. 

There will be activities happening in the library, and ‘meet the authors’ which are timed slots. No booking required – but spaces will be limited.

The Once Upon A Bus will make a welcomed return outdoors near the library for storytelling sessions and there will be plenty to see and do – with a historic theme!

once upon a bus story telling bus

What Does Maidenhead’s Big Read Do?

Maidenhead’s Big Read is an annual event run by a small group of local volunteers. Their patron is Dame Katherine Grainger, and their passion is to support local primary schools and promote the love of reading, and unite children of all ages and backgrounds with reading.

Since 2018, authors, storytellers, illustrators and poets have given storytelling sessions to schools and members of the public to inspire, enthuse and entertain children of all ages through literature and the arts.

The Maidenhead’s Big Read festival encourages all children to read books, own their own books and visit their local library.

The weekend also coincides with World Book Day – which this year will be on Thursday 7th March 2024.

A Weekend of Free Events

Over the weekend, there will be a range of exciting activities and meet the author sessions, which do not require booking. There will also be a pop-up shop from The Little Bookshop which is based in Cookham.

All weekend you can explore the History Trail and complete the tasks and challenges along the way. Check out artefacts from the Heritage Centre and Archaeological Society. Plus there will be an area for quiet reading.

Saturday 2nd March


  • 10:45am Rob Lloyd Jones – Ancient Egypt (7 – 12 years)
  • 11:45am Martin Brown – Horrible Histories (7 – 12 years)
  • 12:45pm Rob Lloyd Jones – Victorians (7 – 12 years)
  • 1:45pm Iszi Lawrence – ATA WW2 (7 – 12 years)
  • 2:45pm Paul Seddon – Cookham dig (7 years and over)

Children’s Corner

  • 10:30am Library volunteers – Storytelling
  • 11:30am Ruth Burgess – Dinosaurs
  • 12:30pm Rhian Lynette – Storytelling (4 – 7 years)
  • 1:30pm Simon Mole – Dinosaurs
  • 2:30pm Patrice Lawrence – Windrush (4 – 8 years)

Once Upon a Bus Storytelling Sessions (3 years and over)

  • 10am – 10:30am
  • 11am – 11:30am
  • 12pm – 12:30pm
  • 1:30pm – 2pm
  • 2:30pm – 3pm
  • 3:15pm – 3:45pm

    Sunday 3rd March


    • 11am Josh Lacey – Vikings and Romans (7 – 11 years)
    • 12pm Kate Poels – WW2 (9 – 12 years)
    • 1pm Josh Lacey – Vikings and Romans (7 – 11 years)
    • 2pm Martin Brown – Horrible Histories (7 – 12 years)

    Children’s Corner

    • 10:45am Library volunteers – Storytelling
    • 11:45am Martin Brown – Nell and the Cave Bear (5 – 8 years)
    • 12:45pm Ruth Burgess – Dinosaurs (5 – 7 years)
    • 1:45pm Rhian Lynette – Storytelling (4 – 7 years)

    Once Upon a Bus Storytelling Sessions (3 years and over)

    • 10:30am – 11am
    • 11:30am – 12pm
    • 12:30pm – 1pm
    • 1:40pm – 2:10pm
    • 2:30pm – 3pm

    Meet the Authors

    Although booking isn’t required, numbers will be limited for some of the sessions. It will be first come, first serve. There will be a number of fabulous authors to meet.

    Simon Mole is an acclaimed children’s poet, and he will perform poems from his brand new book, followed by a range of fun and silly games and activities to delight dino fans of all ages!

    Iszi Lawrence is a writer, comedian, podcaster and history presenter. She will present the history of the Air Transport Auxiliary during WW2, and give an interactive talk about the planes, with lots of questions and joining in.

    Rob Lloyd is a well-known author of several children’s novels, and Usborne’s See Inside, Look Inside and Young Reading books. His presentation on Ancient Egypt will be fun and interactive and his workshop on Victorians is inspired by a childhood meeting with Roald Dahl.


    Maidenhead’s Big Read Sponsors

    The Maidenhead’s Big Read sponsors are: The Spoore Merry and Rixman Foundation, The Louis Baylis Charitable Trust, Shanly Foundation, The Prince Philip Trust, Highfield Preparatory School, Maidenhead Lions, Oakwood Estates and Mobbs Memorial Trust.


    Head over to Maidenhead’s Big Read’s website for full details: Maidenhead’s Big Read

    And find Maidenhead’s Big Read on Facebook and Instagram