Excerpts from Roald Dahl books will appear on tens of millions of cereal boxes over the next few weeks as part of an ambitious attempt to encourage more children to read. Realising that children will scan cereal boxes for games and prizes, the publisher of Roald Dahl books, Puffin, had an innovative idea. What if they were to print excerpts of some of Roald Dahl's books on the backs of cereal boxes! Children across the UK would be picking up these stories on boxes every day at breakfast.
A deal was struck with the estate of Roald Dahl to realize this goal. The excerpts from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; The Witches; The BFG; The Twits: Danny, and Champion of the World will be printed on a minumum ten million boxes of cereal sold in Asda supermarkets over the next few weeks. They will appear on the back of all of Asda's own brand of children's cereals.
The portions will be only a hundred or so words long, but Francesca Dow, the managing director of Penguin's children books, which owns Puffin, said she hoped this would encourage many to track down the whole book after reading the boxes: "The great thing about a cereal box, is that it potentially is reaching millions of households that just don't read any literature outside of school.
"There could be an enormous number of children discovering Roald Dahl for the first time, bleary eyed over the breakfast table."
Ms. Dow added: "There is a real awareness in the publishing world that there is an increasingly tight competition for children's time, especially from digital activities such as games consoles, as they grow up. And combine that with anxieties about school budgets being cut and libraries closing and we need to find different ways to get books in front of children, especially children growing up in households that don't read."
This is a brilliant effort on the part of Puffin publishications and Asda supermarkets to increase the literacy rate and desire of children to read. Perhaps this will catch on with publishers in other countries, after determining the effectiveness of this campaign. I truly hope so. How about some Robert Munsch? or A.A Milnes or EB White?
What do you think? Would this encourage your child to seek out these books so they might finish the story?