Nick Sharratt encourages Manchester’s dads to read with their children

Award-winning illustrator Nick Sharratt, pictured, is encouraging men across the Greater Manchester to play a bigger role in their children’s reading.

He’s supporting a new competition, which is part of the Read Manchester campaign from Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust, calling on dads to share ‘selfies’ as they read with their children.

Dads who post a photo on social media with the hashtag #ReadMCR will have the chance to win exciting prizes including books and tickets to watch the Manchester Giants.

The reading selfie competition is part of year-long programme of Read Manchester activities to get the city reading and improve literacy levels.

Research shows that fathers have an important impact on their children’s reading behaviours and attitudes, particularly for boys.

A survey of 5,200 Manchester pupils conducted at the start of the Read Manchester campaign highlighted a significant need to engage more boys in reading. It found that just 33% of boys read outside class every day, compared with 45% of girls. Fewer boys also enjoy reading (60% vs 74% of girls).

National Literacy Trust Director Jonathan Douglas said: “It’s so important for both dads and mums to take an active role in their children’s reading. Boys in particular need strong male reading models who will help them to develop positive reading attitudes and behaviours.

“Reading together for  just 10 minutes a day is enough to make a real difference – dads can find tips for making storytime special on the Read Manchester website.”

Nick Sharratt, who was recently announced as a Read Manchester ambassador, said: “Having spent a large chunk of my early years in Manchester I’m delighted to be supporting the Read Manchester campaign in promoting literacy throughout the city.

” Aside from being a hugely enjoyable activity, regular reading can open all kinds of doors in life, and if you develop a love of books as a youngster it will set you up with loads of advantages for the future.”

Nick Sharratt’s touring exhibition, Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants, will be at the Central Library from 6 May to 1 July.

To enter the competition, pictures can be posted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and must include the hashtag #ReadMCR. From all the photos entered, winners will be chosen at random.

For more information about the selfie competition visit