BookTrust gifts every reception aged child in England with picture book The Bumblebear

700,000 copies of The Bumblebear to be gifted to school starters in England as part of BookTrust’s Time to Read campaign

Families across the country will be following Norman the bear’s adventure at Bee School this Autumn when BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, delivers 700,000 copies of children’s picture book The Bumblebear (Random House) to every reception age child in England.

This amusing and colourful picture book, written by Nadia Shireen, is being delivered to schools throughout the Autumn term as part of BookTrust’s Time to Read campaign. Time to Read originally launched in September 2016, encouraging parents and carers of primary school aged children to keep reading with their children - even once they’ve learned to read.

BookTrust Chief Executive Diana Gerald said: “Finding the time to read together as a family can have dramatic effects on a child’s wellbeing and development. Children are more likely to read if they love books, and they’re more likely to love books if families have fun reading together anytime and anywhere.

“We are delighted every primary school starter in England will have their own copy of Nadia Shireen’s brilliant book The Bumblebear to take home and treasure with their family as part of the Time to Read Campaign.  It is a playful book, with an endearing tale about friendship and loyalty which we hope every child across the country can enjoy and learn from.”

The Bumblebear was selected for BookTrust by an independent panel of experts and practitioners, who work with reception-aged children. It was the unanimous favourite with the panel for its quality of storytelling, relatable school setting and its ability to be read aloud in a lively manner. But most importantly, it sends a lovely message of inclusivity with a well-resolved fallible element.

Nadia Shireen, author of The Bumblebear said: “I am so happy and honoured that BookTrust have selected The Bumblebear for their excellent Time to Read campaign. Booktrust is fantastic at turning kids into readers and, crucially, they reach those kids who can't access books so easily. I hope reading about Norman's adventures at Bee School raises a chuckle or two, but mainly I'm delighted that so many children will be forced to own one of my books – whether they like it or not!”

Children across England will start to get The Bumblebear at school from September onwards. The book will be delivered inside a special Time to Read package to take home. Inside the pack is a helpful message for parents and carers about the importance of shared reading.

Andrea MacDonald, Editorial Director, Penguin Random House Children’s Picture Books said: “We are thrilled that Nadia Shireen’s The Bumblebear will be reaching so many children across the UK, and to be working with Booktrust to support this wonderful campaign. The book’s message of acceptance and forgiveness, and its joyful celebration of school life mean that it is perfect for children starting reception – and not only that but Nadia’s trademark humour and sense of fun make it a laugh-out-loud experience fit to inspire a lifelong love of reading.”

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