Herne Hill Kids' Lit Fest Challenge

Herne Hill Cares! 

The Herne Hill Kids' Lit Fest 2021 has had to be postponed (twice!) due to lockdown. But fret not - we have a wonderful festival programme ready to launch as soon as we're released. In the meantime, we hope you'll enjoy our Herne Hill Kids' Lit Fest Challenge, brought to you by a bevvy of exciting authors and illustrators. Each month, we'll bring you themed books and activities to help children feel connected and reflect on the wider world as we continue to journey through these uncertain times - and to whet your appetites for the next full Herne Hill Kids' Lit Fest!

Happy reading, happy exploring, and please do share your creations. Plus watch this space for Lit Fest news as soon as we are able!


Email your creations to steppingintostories@gmail.com

Share them with #HerneHillCares 



🐣 Hooray for Springtime, and for nature in all its glorious forms. 💐


The third Challenge in the Herne Hill Kids' Lit Fest is based around Springtime. We hope the good weather will come quickly!

Our challenge for YOU this month is to spread the joys of springs.

CHICK out these BLOOMing activities to help you out.

1. Celebrate Spring with Lulu Loves Flowers.

Make some scrummy cakes to celebrate spring; what will you choose to decorate them with?

Anna McQuinn, author of the Lulu series, among many other lovely books, has a great recipe that's easy to follow, that makes 24 delicious treats to eat.

Cake ingredients

  • 170g (6 oz) butter or margarine

  • 170g (6 oz) sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 170g (6 oz) self-raising flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.

  2. Cream together margarine and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating continuously. Sift in flour and mix gently.

  3. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes (dependent on cake size) until golden brown and skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Most cupcakes are decorated with butter cream, though for a flat top to decorate on, you can just mix icing sugar and water, then add food colourings.

Butter-cream icing/frosting ingredients

  1. Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth.

  2. Then add the remaining icing sugar with one tablespoon of the milk, adding more milk if necessary, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

  3. Add the food colouring and mix until well combined.

  4. Spoon the icing into a piping bag and pipe the icing using a spiralling motion onto the cup cakes in a large swirl.

Then comes the exciting bit... designing your decorations.
You can also buy ready-made plain cakes and go straight to the decorating.
It's hard to know where to begin, so here are some photos to inspire you. 

Get some jellies, Smarties, Sprinkles, biscuits, jellybeans, marshmallows or fondant and get creative!

If you enjoyed this, check out Anna's Website for more Lulu Loves Flowers activities. You can also download the activity sheet below to draw and colour in some nature for Lulu. 

2. Try your hand at some flower crafts with this great video on how to make easy origami tulips.

You could stick them on a card to give to someone, or gift them as a bunch!

3. Create your own beautiful painted eggs - with a book-themed twist!

Welcome in the new season with some inspiring, beautiful excerpts from Masha and the Firebird, by the brilliant author Margaret Bateson-Hill, illustrated by the wonderful Anne Wilson.

Use the template below to design your own egg, then maybe paint a real ceramic, hard-boiled or polystyrene one! What powers will your egg have? 

🐣 We are celebrating our theme of SPRING with the following titles this month, click on a book to buy. 🐣

chicken home.jpg
chicken little.jpg
slow down.jpg



📚 Hooray for World Book Day, and for stories in all their different forms. 📖


The second Challenge in the Herne Hill Kids' Lit Fest is based on the annual celebration of sharing books and sotries on World Book Day on March 4th.

Our challenge for YOU this month is to share your love of books and stories.

1. Step Inside Your Story

Our friends at British Library Learning are asking children across the UK to 'Step Inside Your Story' and make concertina books about themselves. After all, anyone can be an author or the star of a story! Get involved with Mara the storyteller and contribute to a library of 'All Our Stories'.

2. Re-design the cover of a book you've enjoyed using the template below.

Email your design to steppingintostories@gmail.com

3. Write a review of your favourite book.

Use the template below as a guide, or be as creative as you like; make a video review, do a podcast around it!

4. Make a bookmark for someone special.

Share your love for a story by giving the gift of a bookmark, because it's always nice to start a new book with a new bookmark. Either print out and colour in the designs by official World Book Day author and illustrator Rob Biddulph, or create your own from the template below. 

📚 We are celebrating our theme of BOOKS with the following titles this month, click on a book to buy. 📚




❤️ Hooray for Valentine's Day, and for love in all its many shapes and forms. 💘


We'll be kicking off our Herne Hill Kids' Lit Fest Challenge with a reflection on the many ways of expressing friendship and affection, so beautifully reflected in Jane Porter and Maisie Paradise Shearring's wonderful book, The Boy Who Loved Everyone.

This thought-provoking and reflective tale was written to show how much difference ordinary kindness can make in the world, and offers such an important message in today's Covid-framed, socially-distanced world.

Our challenge for YOU this month is to find your own ways to express love. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Make a tree with heart shaped leaves with the wonderful Jane Porter.

2. Colour the tree below, add heart shaped leaves, and draw something you love in the hearts.

3. Write and send a special letter to let somebody know how much they mean to you.

Learn how to create your very own beautiful folded paper letter with wonderful local author and storyteller, Margaret Bateson-Hill.

4. Weave somebody a bracelet to wear as a symbol of your love.

Traditionally, as you tie the bracelet onto your friend's wrist you may both wish for something.

When the bracelet finally wears out and falls off, your wish comes true! 

❤ We are celebrating our theme of LOVE with the following titles this month, click on a book to buy. ❤

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