Peppa Pig, Q Pootle 5 and Knitbone Pepper join the Manchester Children’s Book Festival line-up this summer

14 Jun 2017
Manchester Children's Book Festival

The line-up for the sixth Manchester Children’s Book Festival has been announced and tickets are now available for a host of fantastic literary events.

The festival, organised by Manchester Metropolitan University, is centred around the hugely popular Family Fun Day which returns this year on Saturday 24 June.

Among the packed programme of events will be special appearances at intervals by family favourite Peppa Pig and an interactive show from the creator of hit CBeebies series Q Pootle 5, Nick Butterworth, about the magic of storytelling and imagination.

This year’s Manchester Children’s Book Festival (MCBF) Family Fun Day offering is bigger than ever as it takes over Manchester Metropolitan University All Saints campus with the Manchester Family Arts, Read Manchester and Generation Manchester young adult zones. The festival caters to children of all ages and is designed to keep them happily reading throughout summer.

Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate, Creative Director of the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University and one of the festival organisers, said:

“2017 is the year of Read Manchester, a collaboration between the National Literacy Trust and Manchester City Council. So much has come from our MCBF partnership with the city, not least the development of the Manchester Creative Learning Network, which helps communicate the city’s cultural offer to schools. 

“The MCBF Family Fun Day is free to attend and everyone is welcome. There is lots to do and a range of activities taking place for people of all ages.  With author readings, performances, workshops, arts and crafts, music, illustrators, indoor and outdoor activities, sports, games, science, food, favourite characters and, of course, poetry, there is something for everyone. Our Generation Manchester and Science Zone this year will make sure that older teenagers are also catered for.” 

Some of the other events taking place on Family Fun Day will be:

  • Author duo Claire Barker and Ross Collins appearing with a session jam-packed with fun, mayhem and lots of laughs to introduce creation Knitbone Pepper and his gaggle of ghostly animal friends.
  • Bestselling author Cathy Cassidy who will be sharing her new book, Love from Lexie, and welcoming fans to a creative afternoon of reading and cupcake decorating.
  • New patron and Coronation Street actress Jennie McAlpine, who is passionate about getting little ones reading and will be sharing her favourite stories in the storytelling tent.
  • Legendary MC and beatboxing Guinness World Record holder Testament putting on his acclaimed Hip Hop Clinic workshops. Open to all abilities, he will demonstrate how to explore sounds, share top tips and introduce visitors to the worlds of grime, hip hop and poetry.
  • MCBF will be joining forces with local street food events company GRUB, to host a family food fair and there will be a special Read Manchester marquee for performances, music and author events.
  • Storytelling, arts, crafts and workshops will also be on offer, alongside a bustling marketplace of stalls and exhibitions to browse and enjoy.
  • As well as Family Fun Day, MCBF includes numerous live shows and interactive workshops, hosted by children’s writers, illustrators and cultural partners, taking place at exciting venues across Manchester throughout June and July. These include:
  • Illustrator Nick Sharratt’s touring exhibition, Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants at Manchester Central Library until July 1. This bright and colourful exhibition will feature drawings Nick did as a boy and a student, to original picture nook artwork.
  • Two performances of David Walliams’ The First Hippo on the Moon, an explosively funny space story, adapted for stage by acclaimed award-winning theatre company Les Petits.