The Big Malarkey Festival is part of the Hull Libraries great offer for city schools.

We aim to encourage reading for pleasure and engagement with everything a library has to offer.  We do this by providing opportunities for children to stretch their imaginations and discover their creative power, working alongside professional artists. 

The festival will be back from Monday 17 – Friday 21 June 2024, offering a programme of Activity Days for Schools, including the James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award, for all members of our Hull Schools Library Service. 

The programme is free of charge and includes sessions for EYFS and KS1 – KS3 pupils, author talks and a range of practical workshops.

We believe that books and stories contain a kind of magic – the power to take you away to another place, to introduce you to extraordinary people, animals, times, or things beyond your own world and your own imagination. We invite teachers and pupils to come and explore with us!


OPEN FOR BOOKINGS ON MONDAY 20 MARCH 2023. Bookings will be handled by the Schools Library Service Team. For any queries please contact


The Schools Activity Programme will run alongside the Book Award voting days on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 June 2023.  Please note that this is a separate event from the Activities Programme – please contact for further info.

The experience of The Big Malarkey is invaluable in raising the aspirations of Hull children. A unique experience incorporating dance, drama, poetry, art, music and technology. Appealing to all ages, this unmissable event needs to be a date in everyone’s diary!

Lisa Fisher – ‘Every Child a Reader’ Specialist TeacherThanet Primary School

We are grateful to the James Reckitt Library Trust  for supporting the 2023 Activity Days for Schools festival programme.