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News story

Penguin celebrates 85th anniversary with specially-commissioned prints by leading artists to raise money for the National Literacy Trust

30 Jul 2020

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We are thrilled to announce that, from today, our friends at Penguin will be raising vital funds to support our work as part of their 85th anniversary celebrations!

As Penguin celebrates 85 years of design and illustration heritage, the publisher has specially-commissioned commemorative fine art prints by five of their leading artists, illustrators and authors, which are now on sale for 85 days at £85 each. All profits will help us continue to support the literacy of children and young people who have been most seriously affected by COVID-19.

The five designs by Charlie Mackesy, Coralie Bickford-Smith, Dapo Adeola, Jackie Morris and Vashti Harrison are themed around the transformative power of books and reading. They are perfect for book lovers and art enthusiasts alike.

The framed prints are on sale from today via the Penguin Shop for a limited period of 85 days. Members of the public will have until Friday 23 October to purchase a piece of design history.

The artists who have contributed their beautiful designs to the project are:

  • Artist, illustrator and author Charlie Mackesy, whose internationally bestselling first book, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, was published in October last year.
  • Coralie Bickford-Smith, who is especially recognised and celebrated for her illustrated covers of Penguin's clothbound classics. Her first book, The Fox and the Star, was named Waterstones Book of the Year and as one of Time Out's 100 Children's Books of All Time.
  • Dapo Adeola is an illustrator and character designer who creates characters and images that challenge gender norms and who runs illustration and character design workshops. Look Up!, his first collaboration with Nathan Bryon, was shortlisted for the 2019 Waterstones Children's Book Prize and Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards. The sequel, Clean Up!, was published earlier this month.
  • Children’s author and artist Jackie Morris has created over 40 books, including beloved classics such as Song of the Golden Hare, Tell Me A Dragon, East of the Sun, West of the Moon and The Wild Swans. Most recently, her collaboration with Robert Macfarlane, The Lost Words, has become a bestselling, critically acclaimed literary phenomenon.
  • Freelance graphic designer and picture book illustrator Vashti Harrison is the artist behind a number of Penguin Random House’s inspirational Little Leaders titles, as well as Oscar-winning actress and author Lupita Nyong’o’s New York Times bestseller, Sulwe.

COVID-19 is set to have a disastrous impact on the literacy and life chances of our most disadvantaged children. We have been working tirelessly with Penguin Random House to get books and vital literacy resources into the homes of children who need them most. We are hugely grateful for their ongoing support through this incredible fundraising initiative and to the artists who have contributed their valuable time and talent to capture the transformative power of reading through their creations. Together, we can continue to support the literacy of children who have been most seriously affected by COVID-19 and ensure that no child is left behind.

Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive
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