Celebrities star in charity’s World Book Day videos

Children’s charity Barnardo’s is showing three videos featuring celebrities, including the swimmer Mark Foster, reading inspiring stories.

Joe Lepper | 7th Mar 19
Mark Foster among celebrity World Book Day readers.

Barnardos has launched a series of videos featuring celebrities reading stories to mark World Book Day (7 March).

The videos, featuring actor Jason Flemyng, TV astronomer Mark Thompson and Olympic swimmer Mark Foster, can be seen via the children’s charity’s Youtube and Twitter channels.

Each story features Big Todd, the mascot of Barnardo’s annual Big Toddle pre-school fundraiser, who encourages children to be brave, adventurous and supportive.

The stories are also available as e-books for primary school teachers to use as part of the charity’s education programme.

Feeding children’s imagination

“Reading helps to feed children’s imaginations and opens their minds,” said Barnardos Chief Executive Javed Khan.

“We’re very grateful to our celebrity supporters and hope their readings inspire children to read and motivate them to be brave, adventurous and supportive.”

Flemyng’s story is pirate themed, while Thompson’s is set in space and Foster’s is called the Gentle Giant.

Foster said:“The Gentle Giant is a lovely story and I know it will capture the imaginations of schoolchildren around the country.

“Big Todd decides to be brave and hold his own Big Toddle to help those in need and ends up raising lots of money. I hope it shows children that when they need to be, they can be brave and make a difference too.”

Thompson said: “As someone who has always wanted to go into space, I thought this was a really exciting, fun story. Big Todd finds an alien and learns about their planet where everyone is happy and kind. I hope it might inspire some young minds to reach for the stars and perhaps be a little kinder to each other.”

Flemyng added: “World Book Day is a great opportunity for children to spend some time reading or listening to stories.”

Barnardo’s education programme has been used in more than 150 schools in the past year.