A SHOWSTOPPING line-up of authors and illustrators will be beamed live to Swindon’s homes, schools, bookshops and libraries when the Biggest Book Show on Earth returns for World Book Day 2013 on March 7.

The event, to be hosted by renowned children’s writer and TV presenter Tony Robinson, will feature a stellar line-up of bestselling authors and illustrators joining the UK’s original online live-streamed festival celebrating books and reading for youngsters.

Broadcast live from the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London to youngsters in Swindon, it will include Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon showing how to bring characters to life and ‘grand dame’ of children’s literature Shirley Hughes explaining how to use illustrations.

Taking part in Swindon couldn’t be easier – simply visit www.worldbookday.com to register for free and check your technical set-up before the big day.

Children from all over the world can watch online while parents, teachers and librarians are able to download resources and ideas to help young audiences join in the fun and read along. The show will air live over the internet from 11am to midday on March 7, and will be available to watch on-demand via the website from the following day.

Kirsten Grant, Director of World Book Day, said: “We are very excited about the fantastic bill for this year’s event.

“The Biggest Book Show on Earth is a great way of introducing children in Swindon and all over the world to the country’s best authors and illustrators.

“We can’t wait to spark the imaginations of millions of children.”

Older readers in Swindon can meanwhile join The Word Herd, a new scheme encouraging teens to share their passion for reading with their peers.

They will also be able to access exclusive new digital-only content from popular teen writers including Patrick Ness, Dawn O’Porter and Alex Scarrow via a brand new app for iOS and Android.

Visit www.worldbookday.com for more information, the latest news and to subscribe to the free monthly World Book Day e-newsletter.