East Midlands: Train operator will feature in children’s book promoting literacy

Bus and rail operator Stagecoach Group is capturing the fun side of transport as it releases its first children’s book, featuring East Midlands Trains, to help support children’s literacy.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 8th May 2014, 3:00 pm
Guardian News
Guardian News

The 16-page book, which is called ‘A Very Special Family Party’, was also produced to mark the 60th birthday of Stagecoach co-founder and Chairman Sir Brian Souter.

Illustrators have turned the company’s well-known brands – including East Midlands Trains - into children’s characters in a fun story set at a ‘family’ birthday party for Sir Brian.

Along with Sir Brian, characters such as Eric East Midlands Trains, Stanley Supertram and Molly megabus.com have been immortalised in cartoon form.

The book, which was written by Stagecoach employee Lindsay Reid, is priced at £4* for a hard copy and £3.60 for an electronic version that can be downloaded to iPad or Kindle.

At least £1.50 from the sale of each book will be donated to the National Literacy Trust** which works to improve the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities, where up to 40 per cent of people have literacy problems.

The book, which was created as a surprise for Sir Brian’s birthday, was designed and illustrated by Devon-based duo Alison MacKenzie and Kate West.

The finished product is now available to buy online at www.amazon.co.uk

Stagecoach Group Chairman Sir Brian Souter said: “The book is definitely one of the more unusual birthday presents I’ve received. It’s a great idea, which we hope children will enjoy, and it reminds us that there’s a fun side to transport too.”

Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group, Martin Griffiths explained: “We like to diversify our products here at Stagecoach so when the opportunity arose to produce a children’s book, we thought it was worth a try. It’s also a fitting way to mark Brian’s birthday, given that he is so passionate about public transport, and of course we are delighted to be supporting a great cause in the National Literacy Trust at the same time.”

Lorna Taylor, Corporate Partnerships manager at the National Literacy Trust says: “One person in six in the UK lives with poor literacy and this holds them back at every stage of their life. Our interest is in supporting some of the UK’s poorest children and families to improve their literacy skills and funds raised by Stagecoach Group’s children’s book will help us to achieve this vital goal.”

Further information about Stagecoach Group can be found at www.stagecoach.com or by following on Twitter at @stagecoachgroup