Thousands of Puffin and Ladybird books will be given away to families for free across the North East over the coming months to inspire children to fall in love with reading. A series of book giveaways kicked off at intu Metrocentre in Gateshead on Tuesday as part of the Read North East campaign.
2,000 books were up for grabs at the shopping centre along with activity sheets and family reading tips. The books were donated by Penguin Random House Children’s, home to Puffin and Ladybird. Children also had the chance to meet Peppa Pig and enjoy storytelling activities throughout the day.
Read North East is a campaign from the North East Literacy Forum, led by the National Literacy Trust and supported by Penguin Random House UK. It encourages parents to talk and read to their babies and children every day to support their literacy skills and give them the best start in life.
The book giveaways are part of a programme of Read North East activities to help raise the region’s literacy levels, which are among the lowest in the country. Data analysis by the National Literacy Trust and Experian found that 60% of wards in the North East are at risk of serious literacy problems, making it the second most vulnerable region to literacy issues in the country.