CBeebies presenter and Manchester Metropolitan University graduate, Cerrie Burnell, joined in the Family Fun Day festivities with a special visit to Lecture Theatre 1 of the Geoffrey Manton Building.
Cerrie was here to promote her new book, Snowflakes. Cerrie said: “Books are magical adventures. When you open one, you can go anywhere.” During her appearance, she recited Snowflakes in its entirety. The book’s illustrations, which were drawn by Laura Ellen Anderson, were shown on a large projector. Throughout the reading, Cerrie encouraged her audience to join in and some younger members of the crowd were even called upon to act as Mia, the book’s main character.
We were told that Mia had moved from the city, where she lived with her parents, to live with her grandmother in the countryside. Mia considered herself different to all the other people around her because she no longer lived with her parents, which made her feel sad. Learning about snowflakes helped Mia to understand that we are all unique and have different lives, yet every single one of us is important: “Every snowflake is different, every snowflake is perfect.”
During a break in the performance, the children were invited to colour in their own pictures of snowflakes whilst Cerrie toured the lecture theatre to meet her fans. The children all stood at the front to show off their beautiful pictures.
Whilst the colouring was taking place, we spoke to some of the children in the audience.
Maisie, age 4, who was visiting the Festival with her grandma and granddad, said: “I’m looking forward to getting a new book.”
Solomon, age 3, enjoyed listening to the story with his mummy. He said he most liked hearing, “…all about the snowflakes and watching the lady from CBeebies.”
Bryn, age 6, who was visiting with his sister, Freya, said: “I really like looking at the books and I’ve read Oliver and the Seawigs so we’re going to meet those authors later too.”
After the reading was over, Cerrie held a short Q & A session. “Did it take a long time to write the book?” asked one of the children: “From the moment I wrote it to it being on the shelf, it took two and a half years”, she answered. Cerrie also explained that with each new book she writes, the time it takes to publish would be shorter.
Later that morning, Cerrie held a book signing in the Geoffrey Manton Atrium. She really enjoyed meeting her fans. She said: “It’s always such a lovely, warm and receptive audience in Manchester. Two children came to join me on stage spontaneously and read poems, which was wonderful and very endearing.”