Much-loved author Cathy Cassidy paid a visit to Manchester Children’s Book Festival this weekend to host two events for her fans
By Jacqueline Grima
The winner of the prestigious Queen of Teen award and author of The Chocolate Box Girls series came to talk about her new book Love From Lexie and decorate cupcakes with her readers in a VIP event.
Cathy introduced new book, Love From Lexie, the first in a new series titled The Lost and Found. Love from Lexie is a roller-coaster ride story that explores love, friendship and an attempt to save the world. Feeling lonely in her new school, Lexie writes a series of letters to her mum, who has disappeared, telling her all about the new misfit friends she has made.
Cathy shared with the audience stories of how she began writing, emphasising that it is still possible to become a writer even if your favourite subject is not English. She said, “My favourite subject at school was actually day-dreaming. While day-dreaming, you might come up with an amazing idea for a story.”
She added, “Trust me, day-dreaming time is never wasted time. If you write your daydreams down and you are lucky enough to get published, you can share your day-dreams with the whole world.”
She also stressed the importance of reading in childhood, saying, “Never be embarrassed about what you’re reading. Reading is cool; end of story.”
Later on in the day, Cathy hosted a creative workshop where children and parents enjoyed decorating (and eating!) delicious cupcakes.
Workshop attendees had the opportunity to listen to Cathy read an extract from Love from Lexie and her fans were delighted to leave with a signed copy of the book.
Cathy told us how delighted she was to be visiting the Festival, commenting, “I really love the Manchester Children’s Book Festival. I came to the first one and it’s really grown since then. It’s spectacular.
“MCBF has its own personality. It has a particular buzz about it that’s very Manchester. It’s 100% Manchester!”
Cathy also stressed the importance of helping children engage with books.
She said, “Children need access to books that are right for them. Growing up, I found mine in my local library and it breaks my heart that libraries are closing. The best thing you can do for a child is to get them a library card. That way they can try a book and, if they don’t like it, they can take it back.
“Once your child is hooked on reading for pleasure, it becomes magic for them.”
The Manchester Children’s Book Festival continues throughout summer with events for the whole family to enjoy. Check out the #MCBF2017 Festival programme and follow @MCBFestival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and events.