Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell backs our Books For Schools campaign – The Sun

Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell backs our Books For Schools campaign – The Sun

November 24, 2019

SHE may be the Children’s Laureate and a bestselling author, but Cressida Cowell is no book snob. She reckons kids should read anything they can get their hands on to develop a love of reading.

Cressida writes hit series How To Train Your Dragon, also adapted for TV and for film, and reckons everything from comics, to audio books and even watching TV helps kids learn to read.

She spoke after we yesterday began printing tokens for our Books For Schools giveaway. We have joined up with HarperCollins to give away £12million worth of FREE books.

More than 5,000 primary schools have registered to collect tokens, which will be printed daily in The Sun and The Sun on Sunday until January 18.

Schools that collect 3,500 TOKENS will get a box of more than 100 reading books from the highly regarded Collins Big Cat Reading programme, worth £600.
We visited current Waterstone Children’s Laureate Cressida in her writing shed at the bottom of her garden in London. The mum-of-three said: “I’m delighted to support The Sun’s Books For Schools campaign and make the magic of books accessible.

“Reading should be enjoyed. If it’s a chore, it’s so easy for a child to switch off. To find a book they love, children need lots of books and to know it’s OK to put one down if they are not enjoying it. We shouldn’t be prescriptive about what they read. It doesn’t matter if it’s a comic, a fact book or Charles Dickens.


“I’m a big believer in audio books — a great bridge if children are struggling to read. I also love TV and films. My films have been incredible for my book sales. If something encourages children to read, that is good.

“Books have more effect than a film, though, because everything is happening inside the child’s head. They offer three magical powers — intelligence, creativity and empathy.”

Cressida has sold more than 11million books, in 38 languages. How To Train Your Dragon is also a billion-dollar, award-winning Dream-Works film franchise and televised on Netflix and CBBC.

Her book series The Wizards Of Once has also been optioned for a film by DreamWorks.

She adds: “School budgets are so squeezed but there should be money ringfenced for books for the library. It should be statutory.

“Reading for pleasure gives a child a massive advantage later in life. Many parents leave all reading to the school, without realising how little time children have at school to simply enjoy stories.

“Working parents are pushed for time and don’t realise the difference they can make by taking their children to the library or buying them books.”

  • Knock Three Times, the third book in Cressida’s series The Wizards Of Once, is out now (Hodder Children’s, £12.99)


IT’S time to start collecting your Books For Schools tokens!

Your first is ready – and worth a BONUS five tokens.

Here’s what you need to do to claim your FREE box of books for your school:

  1. Check to see if your primary has registered by going online at
  2. Help your school collect tokens from The Sun and The Sun on Sunday. Tokens will be printed EVERY DAY until Saturday, January 18, 2020. Each school needs 3,500 tokens – so make sure you get as many as you can.
  3. Once a school has collected 3,500 tokens, they will need to return them by Saturday, February 8, 2020.
  4. Your school will receive the books in March 2020.

T&Cs apply. Online registration required. Multiple token collect.

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