By Jacqueline Grima
The Manchester Children’s Book Festival hosted a fantastic Family Fun Day with a host of exciting activities and workshops for the whole family.
Special guests included children’s writers Phillip Reeves and Sarah McIntyre, creators of the book Pugs of the Frozen North and Michael De Souza, creator of CBBC favourite, Rastamouse.
Proceeds from the day went to the fantastic charity Readathon, who bring storytellers and books to children who are in hospital.
Activities on offer at the event included a Fancy Dress parade, the chance to make it snow in the snow-themed arts and crafts room and the chance to make favourite book characters into movie stars with the team from Home, Manchester.
Children could join in with the Manchester Central Library and Archives Plus Summer Reading Challenge.
As well as meeting the MCBF pug mascot, excited children, and adults, also had a chance to meet some real life pugs brought along by the Pug Welfare and Rescue Association.
The association works hard to ensure the rehoming of hundred of pugs. Volunteer Coordinator Andrea Slater explained, “None of our dogs go into kennels. Instead, they are all looked after in foster homes. We are really pleased to be at the Family Fun Day today to raise awareness of what we do.”
Children were also invited to take part in workshops with some of their favourite authors and illustrators including comic creators the Etherington brothers, who taught children about the tricks of telling a story, and Michael De Souza, who picked children to help him read some of his Caribbean poetry and his book Da Bag-a-Bling.
The Festival’s Russian friends from the Kalina Balalaika Ensemble were also on hand to tell the story of Masha and the Bear and the dangers lurking in the deep, dark forest.
Stallsoffering information included the People’s History Museum, the National Football Museum, Ordsall Hall and Gardens and the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, who promote British heritage to inform and inspire a global audience.
The Heritage Trust also brought along an igloo and helped children dress up as polar explorers. Other guests on the day were teams from the Salford and Trafford Family Arts Festival, the Manchester Museum, who were talking about climate control and their Marvellous Moths project, and Ginger’s Comfort Emporium who were selling delicious ice-cream.
Visitors also had a chance to buy books from Festival friends Blackwell’s and Usborne Books and children were invited to have books signed by their favourite authors.
All the children and adults who came to the day had a fantastic time. Mum Claire Teague travelled from Warrington to visit the event after thoroughly enjoying last year’s Fun Day. She said, “The children have had a fantastic time. Oscar really enjoyed pretending he was a zombie in the Etherington brothers event and my youngest Arthur loved meeting Rastamouse!”
She added, “The Family Fun Day is such a great opportunity for them to meet their favourite authors and also to explore books, and authors, they haven’t read before.”
To find out more about the great work done by the Pug Welfare and Rescue Association, see the charity’s website or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the Readathon charity, visit the website.