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Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories is Helping Parents Nurture Their Childrens’s Love of Reading – by Putting Five Million Books Inside Cereal Bozes Again This Fall


Cheerios is specially printing three million of the books in English and Spanish so more families can enjoy them

Encouraging kids to read has led the people at Cheerios to think outside of the box – by putting millions of books INSIDE the box. For the SEVENTH year in a row, through its Spoonfuls of Stories® program, Cheerios is offering 5 MILLION books free inside Cheerios® cereal boxes, with stories that make it fun for parents and children to read together. This year’s books again hold broad appeal, with entertaining stories about a duck who runs for president, a girl who imitates zoo animals, stores that give out free dinosaurs with every purchase, two friends who blast off and discover another world, and Nickelodeon characters Dora and Diego’s daring adventure to rescue a wolf pup.

The Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program kicks off this fall during Give a Child a Book Week, October 13 to 19, 2008. The books, which include five great titles from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, will be in Cheerios cereal boxes marked “Spoonfuls of Stories.” Families can see which book is in the box through a special cut-out window on the front of the box; boxes with books inside will begin appearing on shelves nationwide in October 2008.

Cheerios is also working with First Book, an award-winning children’s literacy nonprofit, to give a year’s worth of children’s books to every child participating in 51 reading programs – one in each state across the country plus Washington, D.C. The effort will launch during Give a Child a Book Week. Over the past seven years, Cheerios has donated almost $3 million to help First Book get brand new books to children from low-income families. In addition, over the past seven years, Cheerios has also distributed a total of 35 MILLION books to families inside cereal boxes, and donated books to community groups all year long.

“One of the most important aspects in encouraging kids to read is providing a wide range of reading choices,” said Jon Scieszka, a well-known children’s book author and the United States’ first-ever National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a position created by the Children’s Book Council (CBC) and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. “I encourage parents to help their children read about topics that interest them, and in formats ranging from books and comics to age-appropriate internet sites,” says Scieszka. “And books like the ones offered through the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program help appeal to many kids – girls and boys, early readers and late readers, avid readers and reluctant readers.”

“Every year, we review 50 to 80 books, and, with input from literacy experts and parents, we choose five books that we hope children and parents will enjoy,” said Jeff Hingher, marketing manager for Cheerios. “This year we are also specially printing three of the five books, or 3 million books in total, in English AND Spanish. For us, it is all about providing as many options as we can, to help more families enjoy reading together and to help reinforce the magic of books.”

This year’s book offerings from Cheerios are:

Duck for President, written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin: A great tale for the election year! Duck is tired of doing his chores around the farm and decides to hold an election to replace Farmer Brown. After his bid is successful, Duck quickly realizes that running a farm requires a lot of hard work, and sets out to run for governor instead. With the help of the hens, and speeches “that only other ducks can understand,” Duck eventually ends up running for president – and then running the country. Executive office gives him a headache, however, so Duck returns to the farm to work on his autobiography. A New York Times #1 Bestseller. For ages 4 – 8.

When Dinosaurs Came with Everything, written by Elise Broach and illustrated by David Small: Just when a little boy thinks he’s going to die of boredom from running errands with his mom, an amazing thing happens: he discovers that on this day (and this day only) stores everywhere are giving out a very special treat with any purchase: dinosaurs! The story describes the boy’s increasing delight with the free dinosaurs he collects from the bakery, the doctor, and the barber, contrasting his feelings with those of his mother’s as the beasts start to accumulate behind them. Once home, though, mom finds unique ways to put all of the dinosaurs to good use doing household chores – so everybody wins! Winner of the 2008 E.B. White Read Aloud Award, and also named a Junior Library Guild Selection, ABC Children’s Bookseller’s Choices, ALA Notable Children’s Books, Bank Street Best Books of the Year, Bulletin Blue Ribbon and a Publishers Weekly Bestseller. For ages 4 – 7 – but perfect for dinosaur lovers of all ages.

Romeo and Lou Blast Off, written and illustrated by Derek Anderson: When Romeo the penguin and Lou the bear team up to build a rocket ship, imagine their surprise as it gets picked up by a shooting star and carried to a weird new world – otherwise known as a city. Assuming they are on another planet, the friends look for a way home. During their search they see many familiar animals that aren’t what they seem, including a penguin and polar bear (a man in a black suit walking a white dog), walruses (construction workers with mustaches), and fish (children in swimming gear). When a shark (a police officer) chases them onto a seagoing vessel, they take off in a new spaceship, and the two pals smile “all the way home.” For ages 4 – 8 and specially printed in both English and Spanish.

Monkey and Me, written and illustrated by Emily Gravett: This charming book illustrates the fun that can be had when a little girl and her toy monkey visit the zoo! The girl and her monkey imitate each animal they see, inviting the reader to guess what kind of animal it is as they turn the page! It’s a fun book to read – after all, what child doesn’t like acting out different animal sounds and characteristics?! The book received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and School Library Journal. For ages 2 – 6 and specially printed in both English and Spanish.

Diego’s Wolf Pup Rescue, adapted by Christine Ricci and illustrated by Art Mawhinney: When a maned wolf pup gets separated from its mother at the Animal Rescue Center, Diego and his cousin Dora swing into action. Join Dora and Diego on the rescue mission as they go to the Science Deck, take a zip cord through the forest and paddle across a river. Along the way they identify paw prints, rescue an otter, and learn more about maned wolves. Based on the TV series Go, Diego, Go!TM, as seen on Nick Jr.,® this book includes activities for kids and families available only from Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories. For ages 3-7 and specially printed in both English and Spanish.

The books have been sized to fit inside cereal boxes, and feature all the original content and illustrations. Families can join Cheerios to make their own online donation to First Book, to help get brand new books to children from low-income families, by going to

“Many people have a hard time believing it, but the fact is more than 60 percent of low-income families do not have ANY age appropriate books for their children to read,” said Kyle Zimmer, president of First Book. “Having books available at home is critical for every child to learn the basics of reading, which are the building blocks of future success in education and in life. Cheerios has helped reach so many children and helped provide a library of outstanding children’s books that families and children of all ages can enjoy.”

For additional information about the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, please go to


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