Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cool Idea of the Day: Roald Dahl on Cereal Boxes

I'm Janet, and I love to read! As a child we were not allowed to read at the breakfast table, but that didn't keep me from reading the cereal box. Now, Puffin has struck a deal to promote reading on cereal boxes. Excerpts from Roald Dahl's books will appear on millions of cereal boxes during the next few weeks, to help encourage British children to read.

Although this is the first time literary stories have appeared, cereal box copy has often included 'stories' and contests which usually included reading several special boxes to solve the mystery and win a prize... ah, the mystery connection! There were also special boxes with books inside (Nabisco Shredded Wheat), but that's another story!

The Telegraph reported that the promotion resulted from a deal struck among Puffin, Dahl's estate and the supermarket chain Asda. Excerpts from The Witches, The Twits, The BFG, Danny: The Champion of the World and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will be printed on the back of the supermarket's own-brand children's cereals.

"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," said Francesca Dow, managing director of Penguin's children books. "There could be an enormous number of children discovering Roald Dahl for the first time, bleary eyed over the breakfast table."

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."

Hat Tip: ShelfAwareness.com


Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

I LOVE this idea! Like you, I was a cereal box reader. I knew all of the ingredients in every cereal that was consumed in our house, I could even pronounce most of them. This is just brilliant. Hey, about about cereal box book excerpts for adults? Geriatric health tips on bran flakes, etc.

Janet Rudolph said...

Fabulous idea, Pattie. :-) Get out the bran and oatmeal.

Molly said...

This is a brilliant idea -- I read cereal boxes, soup cans, pasta boxes, everything. Dahl would have been better!