Maidenhead's Big Read set to return in March with new theme

Shay Bottomley

Maidenhead’s Big Read is set to return in March to encourage schoolchildren to embrace and enjoy the essential skill of reading.

Coinciding with World Book Day on Thursday, March 3, the 10-day event will be held in the town centre from March 1 to March 10.

The Big Read is organised by Maidenhead Community Book Festival CIC, and plans are already in place for the fourth edition of the event, which was held virtually last year.

Twenty authors, illustrators, poets and storytellers are taking part, including several who haven’t featured at the Big Read before.

Names confirmed for the event include Jenny Pearson, A.F. Harrold, Simon Mole and Coral Rumble, while event patron Dame Katherine Grainger will read from Mo Farah’s book, 'Go, Mo, Go'.

During the week, sessions will be held with various schools in and around Maidenhead, either virtually or in-person.

With the Big Read stretching over the weekend, the theme for the event will be ‘Incredible Oceans’ involving a large dome and a massive inflatable orca, the largest mammal in the world.

The Dome will be put up on the weekend of March 5-6 in the amphitheatre at Maidenhead Library, featuring ocean artefacts with ‘Ocean Life’ storytelling and presentations in the library and the Nicholsons Centre.

Bookworms are also encouraged to dress up in the nautical theme for the weekend.

Once Upon A Bus will also be returning to the High Street with storytelling about oceans on the bus itself.

Drop-in book sharing groups, reading together events and a pop-up book shop are also planned at the Nicholsons Centre and the library.

Stephan Stephan, chair of Maidenhead’s Big Read, said: “We have engaged popular and well-known local and national authors, poets and illustrators, and it is so encouraging to see so many schools participating, to further ignite an excitement in reading regularly, sharing stories with others and bringing books to life.

“It’s run by volunteers, and the purpose of Maidenhead’s Big Read is to encourage more children to read and love reading.”

If you’d like more information, please email hello@ or visit the website to book your sessions at 

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