The 5 Best at The South Ken Kids Festival

Next week is the start of the popular literary South Ken Kids Festival held at the Institut français in guess where … SW7! In it’s 17th year now the bi-lingual event brings together artists, authors and the coolest illustrators around. Think mini-Hay festival, without the camping, and close to the tube home in time for Strictly!

During the week there are schools only events, such as screenings and workshops, and then over the weekend there are very fun kid only workshops, more films, book signings, music and awards to be celebrated. It’s a chance to hang out at an iconic building in the heart of town, get a taste of french culture, and meet exuberant authors and illustrators. I always find this talented gang totally charming, and they seem to thrive when they are around their mini-fans, so it’s full of feel good factor all round. C’est bon.


1. Watch the Film : PEAU D’ÂNE (DONKEY SKIN) : Monday 17th November (schools only event) : Aimed at British schools (Year 5-Year 8) : French schools (CP-CM2)

Jacques Demy’s ode to the classic fairy tale by Charles Perrault starring Catherine Deneuve comes to life with breathtaking brilliance in a new digitally restored and re-mastered version. Produced in France | 1970 | dir. Jacques Demy | restored print | in French with English subtitles.


2. Drawing Event : With AURÉLIE GUILLEREY & SATOSHI KITAMURA : Saturday 22 Nov | 1.30pm – 2.10pm | £5 : In English | Ages 3+

Get your creative juices flowing as this Franco-Japanese duo conjures up your favourite characters projected onto the big screen. Will Aurélie Guillerey’s naughty children surpass themselves with Angry Arthur? Will the Joybaloo take them all for a ride in the sky? You decide!


3. A kids only workshop with CLÉMENTINE BEAUVAIS : In English | Age 7+ 

Do you enjoy solving riddles? Invent your own detective story with the author of the Sesame Seade Mysteries. Hunt down clues, line up the suspects, and verify their alibis — just like a true super sleuth! (25 Kids max, book online above).


4. A kids only workshop with YASMEEN ISMAIL ; In English | Age 2+ | max. 25 children ;Book either : Sun 23 Nov | 10.00am – 11.00am | £7 or Sun 23 Nov | 2.00pm – 3.00pm | £7

It’s not easy for a lion cub to get used to a new pair of glasses; won’t you give him a hand? Come and design the perfect specs for Rex. Round or star-shaped, with stripes or polka dots, with or without glitter — Yasmeen Ismail will show you how!


5. A kids only workshop with illustrators and authors ALEX BARROW AND GABBY DAWNAY : In English | 4+ | max. 25 children :Sun 23 Nov | 11.30am – 12.30pm | £7

Hop on board and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of London with the creators of London Calls!. You might even spot some possums along the way! Get to know your city in a different light and learn to draw iconic streets and monuments.