Two heroes of lockdown, who helped families get through tough times and broke world records while doing so, met up in Bath at the weekend. Joe Wicks, also known as The Body Coach, ran daily exercise sessions live for children and parents during the time when schools were closed, while illustrator Rob Biddulph ran online art classes, Draw With Rob. Both were in the West Country as stars of Bath Children’s Literature Festival.
Joe Wicks’ online PE sessions made the Guinness World Records for the most people taking part in a live workout session, totally 9,55,185 views. Rob’s Draw With Rob art sessions also broken a Guinness World Record with 45,611 households taking part in the biggest ever online art class.
Rob was in Bath to lead a fun draw-along session and to talk about his series of popular children’s books, with a new one, Odd Dog at Christmas, due out soon. Joe Wicks has just published his first picture book for children, The Burpee Bears and his Bath event was the first live appearance to promote the book.
Bath Children’s Literature Festival, Europe’s largest books festival for kids, ran over ten days with a range of events from pre-school story time sessions to 800 plus children in The Forum for an inspiring session led by Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell. Visiting authors and illustrators included Ghosts star writer Simon Farnaby, Irish actor turned author David O’Doherty, Stephen Mangan with his sister Anita presenting their first adventure novel, Greg James and Chris Smith and illustrators Liz Pichon, Sophy Henn and Steven Lenton who led various draw-along sessions for children.
The Bath festival’s digital books programme, Reading is Magic Festival was launched alongside live events and is available to view free until the end of the year.