Leila and the Blue Fox | Kiran Millwood Hargrave & Tom de Freston

Sat 20 Apr 2024 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Kiran Millwood Hargrave - Leila and the Blue Fox

Join bestselling author Kiran Millwood Hargrave and award-winning artist Tom de Freston as they take you on a journey deep into the sea, across the icy tundra, and beyond… Julia and the Shark and Leila and the Blue Fox are both enchanting books, the latter inspired by the breathtaking true story of a Fox who walked 2,000 miles across the ice. Celebrate wildness and the natural world as Kiran and Tom chat about creativity, illustration, and the very real creatures that inspire their tales. 

Suitable for ages 8+

Children must be accompanied by an adult, tickets are required for adults & children.

Venue: Palmerston Room at St Johns

Duration: 1 hour

Children's Festival Partners

Tickets available soon.


Kiran Millwood Hargrave started writing poetry in her final year at university, producing three poetry books and a play before she turned to children’s fiction. Her bestselling debut The Girl of Ink & Stars won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017 and the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year. Her second standalone story, The Island at the End of Everything, was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award and the Costa Children’s Book Award, and long listed for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. Her third book, The Way Past Winter, was the Blackwell’s Children’s Book of the Year 2018. Kiran’s debut YA title, The Deathless Girls, was long listed for the Diverse Book Awards 2020, and shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and the Foyles Children’s Book of the Year. Her first book for adults, The Mercies, was subject to a 13-way auction and debuted at number 1 on The Times Bestseller Chart, and number 5 on the Sunday Times Bestseller List. It was named an NYT Notable Book of the Year, and won a Betty Trask Award. Julia and the Shark and Julia and the Blue Fox were made in collaboration with her husband Tom. 

Kiran lives in Oxford with her husband, the artist Tom de Freston, and the fulfilment of one of her earliest ambitions: their rescue cats, Luna and Marly. 

Tom de Freston is a visual artist based in Oxford, and the author of Wreck: A Story of Art and Survival. Among various fellowships and residencies he has held a Leverhulme residency at Cambridge University, a Levy Plumb Residency at Christ’s College and the inaugural Creative Fellowship at Birmingham University. With his wife, the writer Kiran Millwood Hargrave, he is the co-creator of Orpheus and Eurydice and Julia and the Shark, winner of the Waterstones Children’s Gift of the Year.