The Manchester Children’s Book Festival welcomes Coronation Street star Jennie McAlpine as new patron for their 2017 Family Fun Day.
Read Manchester Ambassador McAlpine will share her favourite stories in the Read Manchester Marquee at this year’s Family Fun Day on Saturday June 24th at Manchester Metropolitan University.
The actor – who plays Fiz in Coronation Street – is passionate about breaking down barriers to reading with children and getting all families involved in cultural activities across Manchester.
Festival Director Kaye Tew said: “We’re delighted to welcome Jennie on board as a Festival patron. She’s very passionate about getting families reading together and we cannot wait to enjoy a storytelling session in the Read Manchester Zone at this year’s Family Fun Day.”
Jennie on what inspired her to become a MCBF patron: “I have always loved to read with my little boy, Albert. He is two-and-a-half now and I have been taking him Storytime at Manchester Central Library since he was eight weeks old.
“We came to the MCBF Family Fun Day last year and it was great fun. It’s also free which is amazing! We spend so much money on our kids and actually there are so many free events and activities if people look for them. It can be really expensive to go to play centres and it can cost a fortune for families. But you don’t have to spend money all the time.”
On all the activities on offer: “At the Manchester Children’s Book Festival Family Fun Day, all the literary and cultural activities that you can experience in Manchester are together for one day. Which is fab because you can get ideas and see what your kids like doing.
“Manchester is an amazing place. We have the fantastic Central Library that is such a big part of Read Manchester and the Manchester Children’s Book Festival, and then we have the Whitworth Art Gallery and the Manchester Art Gallery. They are all such great spaces and they have got amazing people in there that are always thinking of ideas to entertain your kids.”
On getting families reading together: “I can understand that people can be scared of reading with their child if they’re not really a reader themselves. Libraries can be scary to go into if you have never been in before. The first time I went, I’d never been in the children’s bit of the library and I didn’t know what I was doing. But I asked a lady who was really helpful and pointed me in the right direction.
“The books themselves can also be intimidating but you don’t have to get Shakespeare for children. Look at our bookcase we’ve got things like a lovely picture book called ‘I Love You Mummy’, which is about Baby Bear looking for his Mummy.
“You can get kids excited about reading by using absolutely anything they are interested in. My son loves trucks and diggers so we’ve got books like that. If your child loves fairies, then get books about fairies – things that they actually enjoy, because as an adult I don’t read things that I don’t enjoy. I wouldn’t read a science fiction novel because I’m not interested in it. I’d rather read about love and romance because that’s what I like, a happy ending. So your children shouldn’t be reading something they don’t enjoy either!”
About Manchester Children’s Book Festival
Manchester Children’s Book Festival (MCBF) is a year-round programme of activities, including events and performances, author and illustrator school visits, projects and competitions. The Festival is organised and delivered by Manchester Metropolitan University, in partnership with organisations across the city.
Manchester Children’s Book Festival Family Fun Day takes place on Saturday 24th June. 10am-4pm at Manchester Metropolitan University All Saints Campus, Oxford Road, M15 6LL. General entry to the Family Fun Day is free, but some individual events and workshops carry a cost.
For the full schedule of Manchester Children’s Book Festival events and to book, visit www.mcbf.org.uk/whats-on/events.