For more than 700 children in Manchester the sky really was the limit this World Book Day as they shared stories under the wings of Concorde with some of their favourite children’s authors.
World Book Day, the charity behind the world’s biggest celebration of reading for pleasure, in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, teamed up with Read Manchester, Manchester Libraries, and Manchester Airport to bring their unique ‘Share a Story Live’ event to the city.
Six of the UK’s best-loved children’s authors and illustrators took to the stage at the event to rally youngsters from local primary schools around the excitement of sharing stories with others.
The action-packed event had a stellar line-up of authors including best-selling author of The Christmasaurus, Tom Fletcher; creator of How to Train Your Dragon, Cressida Cowell; World Book Day’s official illustrator for 2019 and Waterstones Children’s Book Prize winner, Rob Biddulph; Alex T Smith author of Claude: Best in Show; and Abi Elphinstone, creator of the wonderful Everdark.
The story-filled celebration was opened by the Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor June Hitchen who took to the stage with compere Steven Butler, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize shortlisted children's author, actor, and playwright, to welcome the children and authors to the event and to share her own love of reading with them.
Free books were on offer for all the children attending the event and many of them also got the chance to meet the authors and get books signed by them.
Kirsten Grant, Director of World Book Day, said: “It’s our vision to offer every child in the UK the opportunity to read and love books. Having the chance to be inspired by this amazing range of authors and illustrators will have an enormous impact on how the children in the audience view books and reading.”
Jonathan Douglas, Director, National Literacy Trust, said: "When families share stories at home and children enjoy reading, they do better at school and in later life. We must do everything we can to inspire children to fall in love with reading for a lifetime.
World Book Day 2019 authors Alex T Smith and Abi Elphinstone also hosted assemblies at local primary schools across the city later in the day.
Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council, said: “We all know how important reading is and this is something we champion across the city through our schools and libraries, as well as through our Read Manchester campaign.
"World Book Day in Manchester is always a great day, and I can’t think of a better way to spend it than sharing stories under the wings of Concorde, getting children excited about books and helping them reach for the skies with their own reading.”