A whole host of authors and illustrators including Matt Brown, Lizzie Finlay, Steve Hartley, Kate Pankhurst and Ruth Fitzgerald delivered captivating workshops, entertaining families throughout the day. Festival friends and partners including Chill Factore, Play Factore, Z-arts and Blackwells, (and many more!) set up an array of stalls in the jam packed Manchester Metropolitan University atrium. Each stall offered intriguing time-travel inspired arts and crafts and activities for everyone to enjoy!
Hannah Russell, author of The Magical Adventure of Little Alf, was there with the star of her books: Little Alf the Shetland pony. Shortly before the Family Fun Day opened its doors to the public, Hannah told me, “Today is going to be great, lots of authors are coming! It’s going to be fun and friendly.” Even the sun was shining for the day’s activities!
|Matt Brown signing books at the Blackwell’s pop-up book shop|
MetMUnch were there to provide everyone with fresh fruit smoothies as well as what appeared to be some very mouldy sandwiches! Haleh Moravej, founder of MetMUnch, chatted to me about the appeal of the fun day, “It’s very chaotic and manic, but it’s so much fun.” She added, “There’s a real buzz in the air from very early morning and throughout the day the energy levels are constant. It’s brilliant!”
|Children making hats for the Fancy Dress Parade|
Over at ReadWell’s stall, Ally Lee was busy knitting some old friends … Sea Monkeys from last year’s Festival! Ally described what she loves most about the festival,
“I love meeting different people and just being here, really – the atmosphere is amazing! I love making the Sea Monkeys for children who are poorly in hospital.”
This year Ally has been knitting Compton Valance and his friends alongside the Sea Monkeys to raise money for ReadWell, a charity who provide children in hospital with books to read.
Alice also said that her favourite part of the Festival was, “All the books!” Dylan, aged 6 added, “It’s been the best day of my life!”