We use cookies to help us improve the website and your experience using it. You may delete and block all cookies from this site at any time. However, please note this may result in parts of the site no longer working correctly. If you continue without changing your settings we will assume you are happy to receive all cookies on this site.


Manchester Children’s Book Festival prescribes dose of festival fun to Children’s Hospital with ReadWell

Readwell 1

Manchester Children's Book Festival (MCBF) together with its charity partner, ReadWell brought this year's festival to children at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Children at the hospital were transported by best-selling authors Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre into the world of 'Oliver and the SeaWigs'. Philip and Sarah taught the children to draw their own sea monkeys, sang songs and led a grand seawig parade around the hospital foyer.

Janet Chamberlain, mother of Maisie, a patient at the hospital said, "It's been a fantastic event - really original. It's just lovely for Maisie to be able to be at the hospital and enjoy a purely positive experience, she was singing along and has really enjoyed herself."

Maisie said, "My favourite part was having my photo taken with the authors."

The event also marked the official launch of ReadWell in Royal Manchester Children's Hospital after itReadwell 2 successfully applied to join the scheme. The charity brings the positive power of reading and storytelling to seriously ill children in hospitals. ReadWell supplies free, brand new books into hospitals via its distinctive, mobile orange bookcase. Working through the hospital school at Manchester, ReadWell also funds regular visits by professional storytellers.Manchester Hospitals Schools Assistant Headteacher, Tracy Gallier said: "Our children can't get to the festival, so it came to us. We read advance copies of Sarah and Philip's book, made SeaWigs and even welcomed the odd Sea Monkey into the hospital school for a visit to the new ReadWell bookcase."

MCBF chose ReadWell as its charity partner for this year's festival, which runs from 26th June to 6th July, features over 80 events and brings many  of the world's best children's writers to Manchester.  The biennial festival is raising
money for ReadWell to support its Manchester bookcase and storyteller.  Festival Director Ka

ReadWell Manager, Vicky Pember said: "We've been blown away by the amount of support MCBF has given us: from encouraging direct donations at its box office, to getting some amazing authors to inspire children in hospital."ye Tew said: "ReadWell gets books to children in hospital at a time when the power of a good book to entertain, inspire or distract is keenly felt. It's a simple, but clever idea and one we're delighted to support."


About Readwell

ReadWell (www.readwell.org.uk) is part of Read for Good (www.readforgood.org), which also runs Readathon. The
Readwell 4 children's reading charity was founded by children's author Brough Girling with the central aim of promoting reading for pleasure.

ReadWell began as a pilot in 2010 in three children's hospitals. It has since been rolled-out into 20 children's hospitals in the UK and hopes to reach all 30 of the UK's major children's hospitals by the end of 2015 (subject to funding). The charity works through the schools and play departments attached to each hospital and is funded entirely by donations, partly from the Readathon sponsored reads that take place in more than 3,000 UK schools each year.

It is also supported by publishers, authors, illustrators and charitable foundations. Authors actively supporting ReadWell include Children's Laureate, Malorie Blackman; Nick Sharratt (Tracy Beaker illustrator); Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo); David Melling (Hugless Douglas); Cressida Cowell (How to Train Your Dragon); David Almond (Skellig) and Read for Good's patron, Sir Tony Robinson.

Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

OLIVER AND THE SEAWIGS is the first highly illustrated children's novel created collaboratively by Carnegie Medal-winning author Philip Reeve and one of the new stars of the picture book world, Sarah McIntyre.

Sarah is a British-American writer and illustrator of children's books and comics. Sarah has won the Sheffield Children's Book Award, the Bishop's Stortford Picture Book Award for MORRIS THE MANKIEST MONSTER, and the Leeds Graphic Novel Award for VERN AND LETTUCE.

Philip Reeve is best known for his multi award-winning Mortal Engines quartet, which won the Nestlé Children's Book Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award, and the Guardian Children's Book Award. Philip has also won the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal with HERE LIES ARTHUR.


The Royal Manchester Children's Hospital provides specialist healthcare services for children and young people throughout the North West as well as nationally and internationally. Royal Manchester is the largest single-site children's hospital in the UK, seeing 200,000 patient visits each year. Manchester Hospital Schools was recently ranked 'Outstanding' in all areas by Ofsted.