The new title for next year's Booktime programme will be Puffin's Mr Big, by Ed Vere. Pearson is working with the charity Booktrust, with support from the UK Government's Department for Children, Schools and Families, to deliver free copies of Mr Big to over 700,000 primary school children across the UK when they start school.
Mr Big is strong and tough, but he is BIG and has one small problem - because of the way he looks he can't get people to stick around. With his trademark bold, bright illustrations, Vere shows us how, although Mr Big may look a little scary, he's just a great big softy inside.
Each Booktime pack will contain guidance material for parents and carers to encourage sharing books with children. In England, children will also receive a copy of The Booktime Book of Fantastic First Poems, edited by June Crebbin.
Pearson people across the UK will once again be volunteering to read with children in primary schools near our offices. 2009/10 will be the fourth year of Booktime, which was set up by Pearson in association with Booktrust in 2005.