Olympian Greg Rutherford and Beano reveal World Book Day collaboration

The campaign aims to encourage children to visit their local library.

28 February 2022

The Beano has teamed up with Olympic athlete Greg Rutherford to host a series of free reading sessions for World Book Day.

The long jump gold medallist will lead a team of influencer storytellers including author and presenter Anna Whitehouse, who posts on social media under the name Mother Pukka.

They will be reading a bespoke Beano edition containing what it describes as “the world’s loudest comic strip”, designed to help parents and children read out loud together – featuring hundreds of crashes, bangs, wallops and thwacks.

Titled Libraries Aloud, the campaign aims to encourage children to visit their local library for World Book Day, which falls on Thursday March 3.

Rutherford, 35, said: “I absolutely love reading with my children, and Beano is a great gateway for them to get into reading – it’s not just books, but comics too that form this magical world.

Greg Rutherford
Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford reads from the ‘world’s loudest-ever comic strip’, which is part of a World Book Day edition of the Beano (Matt Alexander/PA))

“It’s been an honour to be involved with this campaign and I hope as many people as possible can pick up a Beano this week and enjoy reading it loudly at their local library.”

Mike Stirling, creative director of Beano Studios, said: “It’s been years since children had to stay silent in libraries but many parents still believe that rule applies.

“We’re excited for Beano to celebrate the fun and noise that can be made in libraries this World Book Day and hope it encourages many families to plan a visit to their local library very soon.”

The special comic strip has lots of noises for children to make as they read (Beano/PA)

A poll of 2,000 British parents with children aged six and above commissioned to coincide with the project suggests a quarter (26%) of youngsters have never visited a library in the UK.

It indicates more than half of children (55%) admit to being put off by the thought of going to the library because they think they need to stay quiet.

Nine in 10 children (95%) said making noise and talking about stories made reading more fun, according to the study.

The special comic strip features in this week’s Beano, which goes on sale on Wednesday March 2, with a reading by Rutherford also available online.

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