Tesco, Pan Macmillan and Readathon have all the right ingredients for the perfect Christmas

5 Nov 2015

Tesco and Pan Macmillan have teamed up to raise money to support national reading charity Readathon, which provides books for sick children in the UK’s thirty largest children’s hospitals.

Tesco and Pan Macmillan have teamed up to raise money to support national reading charity Readathon, which provides books for sick children in the UK’s thirty largest children’s hospitals. 

Pan Macmillan has worked with Tesco to exclusively publish a new picture book, The Great Christmas Pudding Rescue, written by bestselling picture book author, Claire Freedman (Aliens Love Underpants), and illustrated by new design graduate, Samara Hardy. This special festive paperback picture book publishes on 26th October 2015, priced £4.00. 

Tesco will donate £1 from the sale of each copy of The Great Christmas Pudding Rescue sold in Tesco stores and on Tesco Direct, to Readathon. The retailer hopes to raise up to £25,000 for the charity.

Tesco’s Books Buyer Karen Brindle said “We value any opportunity to help share the magic and joy of books with our customers. By bringing together the talents of Claire Freedman and Samara Hardy, we believe we’re offering a wonderful combination of a fun and heart-warming story, alongside gorgeous illustrations. 

“With a pound for every book sold by Tesco, helping Readathon to provide books and storytellers for children in hospitals, we hope The Great Christmas Pudding Rescue will truly inspire our customers to join us in our efforts to raise up to £25,000 for a very worthy cause.” 

Justine Daniels, CEO of Readathon says "For children in hospital, books offer an instant escape from what can be a frightening, painful and desperately boring experience. Sadly, many are unable to access books at all, due to the risk of infection and a lack of resources.  Tesco’s fantastic support of our unique programme enables us to provide professional storyteller visits and brand new books, safe from the risk of infection, to the children’s wards of 30 major hospitals across the UK.  As a result, over 16,000 seriously ill children, and their families, will be uplifted by the magic of books and stories.”

Anna Bond, UK Sales Director at Pan Macmillan adds, “The Great Christmas Pudding Rescue by Claire Freedman and illustrated by Samara Hardy is a wonderful story about hoping and caring, loving and sharing at Christmas. It is the perfect message. Pan Macmillan is delighted to be working exclusively with Tesco to be bringing that message into as many homes and children’s hospitals as we can alongside Readathon throughout this autumn.” 

For more information, contact: 

  • Alyx Price, Macmillan Children’s Books, at alyx.price@macmillan.com / 07841 764118
  • Rebecca Miller, Tesco plc, at rebecca.miller@uk.tesco.com / 01992 646462J
  • Justine Daniels, Readathon, at justine@readathon.org / 0845 606 1151

Notes to Editors:

Tesco is a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to providing the most compelling offer for customers. For almost a hundred years, its business has been to make life better for them; from providing quality food affordably, to helping people shop however, wherever and whenever they want to serve millions of customers daily. The Great Christmas Pudding Rescue will be available online and in stores across the UK.

Readathon (registered charity no. 1130309 (England and Wales) no. SCO41036 (Scotland)) was founded by children’s author Brough Girling in 1984 to encourage children to love reading. It achieves this through its popular and successful sponsored reading event for UK schools which has a long history of raising money to help seriously ill children in the UK. Some of the money raised by schools participating in Readathon’s sponsored read provides books and stories for children in hospital. Some 3,000 schools and 750,000 children get involved in Readathon every year helping to provide the UK’s thirty largest hospitals with  brand new books and a visit from a professional storyteller every half term.

You can support Readathon’s work in two distinct ways – either by making a direct donation or by organising a Readathon at your local school. Visit www.readathon.org for more information.

Claire Freedman lives by the Thames Estuary in Essex, England. She started writing after joining a creative writing class – and still attends the same class 18 years later! She has written about 100 books – and is probably best known for writing the Aliens Love Underpants series. She has had many jobs in the past – working at Harrods in London as a trainee buyer, the BBC as a secretary, at a printing/reprographic company and has even been a dental nurse.  She says, “writing gives me the most pleasure – it’s wonderful to be able to create a world for young children to enjoy, whether it’s educational, moral, problem solving, helping the little ones go to sleep, or purely entertaining them. It’s also great fun to see the first picture roughs as the wonderful illustrators bring the text to life.

Samara Hardy graduated with a degree in Illustration from Falmouth University in 2014.  After winning the New Designers Hallmark award, she spent two months in their studio before joining the design team at Tesco. She loves illustrating for a young audience and has recently worked on picture books with Usborne and Oxford University Press. Before coming to Tesco, she designed ranges for Mason Cash, Price and Kensington, Kilner, and Parlane.  

Pan Macmillan (www.panmacmillan.com) is the UK general book publishing arm of the Macmillan Group, which operates in over 70 countries.  Its imprints include Macmillan, Mantle, Pan, Picador, Bluebird, Boxtree, Sidgwick & Jackson, Bello, Tor, Macmillan Children's Books, Campbell Books, Macmillan New Writing and Macmillan Digital Audio. Pan Macmillan was named Publisher of the Year at The Bookseller Industry Awards in May 2015.Readathon provides its service in the following hospitals across the UK: 

  • Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridgeshire
  • Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool
  • Birmingham Children's Hospital, West MidlandsBristol
  • Royal Children's Hospital, Bristol
  • Chelsea and Westminster, London
  • Evelina Children's Hospital, London
  • Gloucester Royal Hospital, Gloucestershire
  • Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London
  • Hull Royal Infirmary, Hull
  • Jersey General Hospital, Jersey
  • John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxfordshire
  • Leeds Children's Hospital, Leeds
  • Leicester Children's Hospital, Leicester
  • Morriston Hospital, Swansea
  • Noahs Ark Children's Hospital for Wales, Cardiff
  • Norwich and Norfolk Hospital, Norwich (tbc)
  • Nottingham Children's Hospital, Nottinghamshire
  • Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, Aberdeen
  • Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital, Brighton
  • Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast
  • Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading
  • Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro
  • Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Devon
  • Royal Free Hospital, London
  • Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow
  • Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Greater Manchester
  • Sheffield Children's Hospital, South Yorkshire
  • Southampton General Hospital, Southampton
  • Ysbyty, Gwynedd Bangor