1st July 2017
World-famous bookseller Foyles has today announced that Cressida Cowell, author and illustrator of the bestselling How to Train Your Dragon series, will be the first Foyles Literacy Ambassador in association with the National Literacy Trust.
In her two-year tenure, Cowell will take part in a series of children’s events at Foyles branches in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Chelmsford. She will also deliver the inaugural Foyles and National Literacy Trust lecture in spring 2018, and judge a new creative writing competition, with further details to be announced in due course.
Every Foyles shop will feature a branded ‘Cressida shelf’ containing her book recommendations to encourage reading among children, such as Dr Seuss’ The Lorax and RJ Palacio’s Wonder, as well as a selection of her own titles.
Paul Currie, CEO of Foyles said: "We're incredibly proud and excited to announce the launch of the Foyles Literacy Ambassador scheme, in association with the National Literacy Trust. We believe that the development of younger readers and their access to literature is essential to both the future of reading and writing. It also benefits the communities that we live and work in. When we thought of who might best help us launch the project, our first choice had to be Cressida Cowell—one of the nation's most beloved children's authors, a long-time friend of Foyles, and already a champion for literacy. We're beyond delighted that she said yes.”
Cressida Cowell commented: “I'm delighted to be partnering with Foyles and the National Literacy Trust for this two-year Ambassadorship. I’ve been lucky enough to celebrate the opening of several Foyles shops, and what they do brilliantly is make children’s books spaces look and feel exciting – they’re inviting places for kids to find their next adventure. I’m looking forward to working together on various exciting projects, such as a national writing competition, recommending my favourite books to kids and parents, and giving regular reading, writing and drawing tips. I want to inspire kids today to read with the same excitement and wonder that I did when I was a child. I’ve been an Ambassador for the National Literacy Trust for over a decade, and I’m especially thrilled to be collaborating with them so closely as well, and emphasising how valuable their work is.”
Jonathan Douglas, Director, National Literacy Trust said: “We are absolutely thrilled to announce Cressida as the very first Foyles Literacy Ambassador, in association with the National Literacy Trust. Cressida is a fantastically talented author and illustrator who has enticed millions of children and young people, not to mention adults, in to the world of reading. Her talks and events are legendary for leaving children brimming with excitement and enthusiasm, not just for reading but also for picking up a pen and unleashing their own imaginations on to the page. Cressida is already a wonderful ambassador for children and literacy and will undoubtedly reach new heights in her role as Foyles Literacy Ambassador.”
In addition to the Cressida Shelf, there will also be regular special window displays, Cressida Cowell merchandise - including an exclusive Foyles signed edition of her new book, The Wizards of Once, published by Hachette on 19 September - and prize giveaways.
Online, Cowell will produce a regular series of tips videos for parents which will be hosted on Foyles’ YouTube channel, while a dedicated page on the Foyles website will feature her book recommendations and other exclusive content and already features an interview with her about saying goodbye to her Dragon series, how her husband resembles Hiccup and the importance of physical bookshops.