Former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq has said books and libraries are "really important, especially in current times" during a visit to Oldham.

Huq was at Oldham Library yesterday (Saturday, June 15) as part of Manchester's Festival of Libraries, a programme which encourages people to celebrate and enjoy the libraries in the Greater Manchester area.

The festival included the Look for a Book challenge, which saw 500 copies of Huq's Fearless Fairy Tales hidden in and around the green spaces of Manchester’s libraries.

The former Blue Peter presenter spoke and read to childrenThe former Blue Peter presenter spoke and read to children (Image: Newsquest)

At Oldham Library, she spoke to children who had found copies of her book and read extracts from the book itself.

Speaking afterwards, Huq, 48, said: "I think it’s really important, especially in current times, that libraries are supported and continue to flourish and continue to be a place where people feel that they’re welcome."

She said that libraries are not just solely for reading, but also for learning and interacting with other people in communities.

She answered questions from the kids and discussed her writing inspirationsShe answered questions from the kids and discussed her writing inspirations (Image: Newsquest)

Fearless Fairy Tales is a series of short stories which puts a modern twist on classic fairy tales such as Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin and Rapunzel.

Discussing what it is like to share her books with others, Huq said: "I really like people and people’s stories and learning about different people and so what I like about my books the characters in them are all so different but I see loads of elements in people around and in the characters

"When you have good strong characters and you see how they interact in helps people to learn about the world."

Huq signed books for visitorsHuq signed books for visitors (Image: Newsquest)

Huq, who is from London, has previously written three books based around a character called Cookie who balances a chaotic family life with mad science projects.

She said she believes reading and visiting libraries are crucial for young people in today's day and age.

Huq said: "I think it’s really important that children keep reading because reading gives empathy and we need grown ups to have empathy in a world that’s more and more about consumerism and instant gratification.

The children in attendance had found copies of Huq's Fearless Fairy TalesThe children in attendance had found copies of Huq's Fearless Fairy Tales (Image: Newsquest)

"The Festival of Libraries is a brilliant example of how to get more kids into libraries."

"For instance hiding 500 of my books in and around the place for kids to find, it’s all a gateway for kids to get into reading and books and sometimes you have to be more stealthy these days.

"When there is so much vying for their attention with TikTok and Snapchat and social media and gaming and consoles – when need to make the important medium of books gets a look in."

The Manchester Festival of Libraries has taken place across Greater Manchester between Wednesday (June 12) and today (June 16).