Smiles and Singalongs at Hospital Charity Launch

Oliver and the Seawigs creators Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre entertain young patients at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital
Manchester Children’s Book Festival organisers were “extremely proud” to have been involved in the launch of children’s book charity, ReadWell, at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. With more than a little help from Oliver and the Seawigs authors, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, the children present were treated to a day to remember.
There were smiles all round as Philip and Sarah taught the children to draw their own sea monkeys, sang songs and led a seawig parade around the hospital foyer. Children recieving treatment at the hospital had made their own seawigs in preparation for the day and illustrator and writer, Sarah, was clearly impresssed. She told us,
“It’s been amazing. It’s so great to see the children enjoying themselves and creating their own sea monkeys with us. They’ve been ‘eeping’ along to all the songs [seawig song lyrics contain lots of ‘eeps’ – NH] and the seawigs they made for the parade are wonderful.”
Janet and Maisie Chamberlain
Philip Reeve agreed, adding “It was really fun. Slightly chaotic, but really fun. The main thing is the children enjoyed it.”
They certainly did. Janet Chamberlain, mother of Maisie, a patient at the hospital and one of many new Oliver and the Seawigs fans, said, “It’s been a fantastic event – really original. It’s just lovely for Maisie to be able to be at the hospital and enjoy a purely positive experience, she was singing along and has really enjoyed herself.”
Maisie herself told us, “My favourite part was having my photo taken with the authors.”
ReadWell’s mission is to make life better for children in hospital by providing them with free books and professional storytellers. Books are a vital resource for young inpatients, providing entertainment, reassurance and helping to prevent them from falling behind in terms of their education.
Manchester Children’s Book Festival Director, James Draper, said, “We are extremely proud to be involved with this very special launch. ReadWell is a charity which is actively making life better for many, many children, at times when they need it the most. We were so pleased that Philip and Sarah could be here as well. They were the perfect choice – vibrant and entertaining, as ever. But the children have been the ones who have made today so special, it’s been an absolute joy to see them engaging with the world of children’s books and enjoying every minute of it.”
To learn more about ReadWell please visit
Be sure not to miss Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre at the Manchester Children’s Book Festival Family Fun Day



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