The Manchester Children’s Book Festival is a year-round programme of events, projects & activities for children, young adults and adults.

Rhyme & Reason: Letting in the Stars with Mandy Coe & Robert Paul Weston

Sunday 5th July 2015

If You Could See Laughter
Let in the Stars

Event details

Poetry for children doesn't always have to be short, it doesn't always have to rhyme, it doesn't have to be funny ... Robert Paul Weston's novel Zorgamazoo is pretty long, it rhymes and it is very funny - is it a novel?  Is it poetry? Visit to meet Zorgamazoo's beautifully illustrated characters and see ways in which this novel in rhyme can inspire children's writing in schools.

"Zormagazoo is the most exciting book to hit the children's shelves in a long time." Canadian Children's Book News

Mandy Coe’s passion for poetry is evident in her own writing and also in her passion for other people’s. Mandy will read from her books and talk about what makes poetry poetry and what makes poetry brilliant. 

Join Mandy and Robert for an afternoon of wonderful poetry to officially close this year's Manchester Children's Book Festival. 

This event will also have a short open-mic section. If you want to try out your own poetry for children, or read your favourite poem for a child, come along and join in on the day or, to secure your place on the programme, email with "Open Mic" in the subject line to book a slot. Please note: reading opportunities are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mandy Coe’s 2010 collection If You Could See Laughter was short-listed for a Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) Children’s Poetry Award. Author of five poetry collections, her work has been featured on CBeebies and the BBC Radio for Schools series Talking Poetry. She was joint winner of the first ever Manchester Poetry Prize. She coordinated “Survive and Subvert”, a highly-acclaimed conference for teachers on maintaining passionate creativity in the classroom in the face of arts funding cuts, at the 2012 Manchester Children’s Book Festival. Mandy was Chair of Judges for the 2014 Manchester Writing for Children Prize, an MMU project that aimed to seek out the best new poetry for children from around the world and resulted in an illustrated anthology, Let in the Stars, which featured the work of 30 poets – based in the UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Uganda, and the USA.

Robert Paul Weston is the author of several internationally award-winning books for young people, including the children’s verse novels, Zorgamazoo and Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff. He is also the author of two young adult mysteries, Dust City and Blues for Zoey. His novels have won prizes in Canada, the United States, and Germany, including the California Young Reader Medal, the Children's Choice Award, and German Audio Book of the Year. He believes that if you aren’t reading his verse novels out loud to someone you love, then you aren’t reading them properly.

This event is part of the "Let in the Stars of Children's Poetry" campaign. For further details, access to resources, and information about how to get involved, click here. This project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Sunday 5th July 2015
Waterstones Manchester Deansgate
Start time:
3:00 PM
For ages:
All ages