Launching on 1 July with the fabulous children’s author and illustrator Nick Sharratt, Manchester Libraries has a feast of Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge activity for you this summer.  For over nine weeks we’ll entertain you with a daily activity – from Draw Alongs, poetry and storytelling to craft ideas to do at home – there’s something for everyone!  Join us on Facebook every day at 11am, or catch up on our YouTube channel.

Monday – Crafts with local Manchester artists 

Tuesdays – Manchester’s very own Performance Poet and entertainer Dommy B!

Wednesday – ‘Draw Along’ mini-masterclass with award-winning Nick Sharratt 

Thursdays – Pick & Mix – with a selection of great authors and storytellers 

Fridays – Crafts and activities with Archives +

Nick Sharratt 
Fabulous children’s author/illustrator and Read Manchester Ambassador, Nick launches our Summer Reading Challenge activity programme on 1st July.  Every Wednesday over the summer he’ll be inviting you to a ‘Draw Along with Nick’ session.  Join in these mini-masterclasses to learn how to draw characters from some of Nick’s best loved books, including Vikings in the Supermarket, The Cat and the King, Octopus Socktopus, Elephant Wellyphant and Don’t Put Your Finger in the Jelly Nelly!

Dommy B
No stranger to entertaining visitors in Manchester Libraries, Dommy B is a performance poet and author not to be missed!  He’s so good, we’re treating you to a regular weekly dose of Dommy B this summer.  Watch his sessions which promise to be full of energy, jokes and of course, fabulous poetry for children.

Kristina Stephenson
The author of the fantastic Sir Charlie Stinky Socks series will be sharing stories with us this summer.  Join us for three sessions as she takes us through her magical and mysterious adventures including Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and The Pirate’s Curse.

Steve Smallman
Join illustrator and author Steve Smallman as he reads Dr Duck, Smelly Peter the Great Pea Eater and his new book Poo in the Zoo 2, what an absolute treat!  Wait there’s more…Steve will show us how to draw as well!

Tom Palmer
Tom describes himself as an author, football fan and a reader (all rather fabulous things to be!).  Reading about football changed his life and he’s on a mission to use the ‘beautiful game’ to inspire the next generation of readers too. Tom will be sharing his fantastic stories about football and also telling us some animal stories accompanied by his very own four-legged friend.

Donavan Christopher
On a mission to make poetry exciting, poet and author of Rappaman and Rappaman to the Rescue joins us for three super sessions.  Get your pen and paper ready for this masterclass in creating your own fun poetry (Be warned – this is nothing like writing poetry at school!).

Robin Simpson
Robin is a storyteller, actor and resident Dame in pantomime, so we think his performance might be larger than life!  For Manchester Libraries, Robin is going to retell the folktale of The Unluckiest Man in the World – listen, sing along and enjoy!

Sophia Hatfield
Sophia, aka Stute Theatre is a Manchester-based performer, musician and theatre maker and we’re a big fan of her work. Sophia will be putting her own spin on a story exclusively for Manchester Libraries.

Simone Frater-Russell
Simone is a local artist who is embracing the Silly Squad Reading Challenge theme.  Look out for Simone’s four sessions creating reading spectacles, a fantasy book-inspired landscape, a ‘silent reading partner’ and character bookmarks. All ideas to inspire you to get creative with what you have at home.

Mandy Cleveland
Local artist Mandy is a firm favourite with Libraries, but get your mops ready grown-ups for some messy crafty fun!  From creating silly slime to silly sausages and smelly socks, Mandy’s easy-to-follow craft creations never disappoint.  

TGIF – Thank goodness it’s Friday with Archives+!  Angela and Siobhan from the Archives+ Manchester Libraries’ team love a bit of creative mayhem!  Join in with them every Friday to get silly with some simple craft and story ideas to end your Summer Reading Challenge week.

Illustrations © Laura Ellen Anderson 2020