There's lots for children and families to look forward to at this year's Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival.
With a 'secret agent' theme, children can use their programme, (available now from your local library) in Rochdale town centre to help unravel the mystery behind the theft of the key that winds the town hall clock!!
On Saturday, 21 October 2017 at Rochdale Central Library the much loved ventriloquist and magician John Piper performs his Puppet Show, which is suitable for children aged 3 and above.
There's a storytime session at The Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre where author Adam Perrott will also sing songs and tell stories.
On Sunday, 22 October 2017 local company Brown's Cakes host an Icing and writing class suitable for children aged seven and over, giving everyone a chance to make a face from icing and then turn it into their own character. Host Natasha Brown has just published her first children's book - 'Caught Cake-Handed' - using sugarpaste figures to fashion her illustrations. Also on Sunday, Rochdale's Exchange Shopping Centre stages 'Build a Bug Home' – with bug specialists from Chester Zoo teaching kids how to make insect houses from twigs, grit, grot and grime. There's also a bat workshop and safari at Rochdale Pioneers Museum for children aged 7 and above, with tips and tricks on understanding bats' ecology and environment.
On Monday, 23 October 2017 the Whiz Kids' Club is in Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre with interactive trails, storytelling, writing sessions, games and crafts with fun characters. Complete all the activities and you'll get your own mini award! Over at Rochdale AFC's Crown Oil Arena don't miss 'Spynosaur' with renowned author Guy Bass. He'll be bringing the story to life, featuring the elusive creature with the mind of a super-spy and the body of a dinosaur!!
For younger children (aged 0-5), throughout October 2017 there's a special Festival Rhyme Challenge during regular Bookstart Bear Club sessions, as well as much-loved classic stories from the Maskew Collection.
'Fantastic fun events again this year'
Pick up copies of the Children's Programme from your library, Rochdale Town Hall, Touchstones Arts and Heritage Centre or visit
Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival.
In addition to the children's programme there's a full line-up of shows for grown-ups from Tuesday, 17 to Monday, 23 October 2017 during the festival organised by us, plus preview events.
As well as Jenny Eclair, Alan Johnson, Manchester poet Tony Walsh and former hostage and peace envoy Terry Waite CBE, the festival features an afternoon tea event with novelist Rosie Goodwin, plus a discussion with bestselling crime writer Mandasue Heller.
Events cover drama, comedy, poetry, spoken word, visual arts and children's shows. For young people aged 14 to 25, there's another 'Generation Z' programme.
Councillor Janet Emsley, our cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture said:
"Our children's shows are always popular and we've some fantastic fun events again this year. Whether you've got a toddler looking to be entertained or hard to please children who are looking for something a bit different, you'll find it at Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival. Activities are also affordable, with tickets no more than £3 and some events are FREE."
The festival will include guest speakers and writers and is aimed at celebrating and promoting the Maskew Collection of classic literature and philosophy at Rochdale Central Library, encouraging people to engage with books and ideas. Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, met in Rochdale Library in the 1950s and left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.
For festival updates on Twitter connect with
The festival is organised by us, supported by the Maskew Bequest and sponsored by
The Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre and creative digital media company -