Royal Mail has unveiled special post boxes honouring British authors and illustrators, to mark World Book Day.
The post boxes have their own unique designs to celebrate the work of Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, Children’s Laureate Wales Eloise Williams, Dapo Adeola, Nathan Bryon, Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks.
They are located in London, Cardiff, Sheffield, Belfast and Oban, close to places of significance to either the writers or their work, and will be in place for a month.
Each post box is digitally activated, containing a QR code linking to free services offered by the author it celebrates, such as a YouTube channel offering free online readings.
The post box for author-illustrator Cowell is decorated with Hiccup and Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon, while a parcel post box in Sheffield celebrates the work of Donaldson and Monks.
Mark Street, head of campaigns at Royal Mail, said: “It is without a shadow of a doubt that the UK is home to some of the world’s best children’s authors, and it is heart-warming to see how so many have been focused on keeping the magic of literature alive for children during lockdown.
“As one of the guardians of the written word, Royal Mail relishes the opportunity to celebrate some of Britain’s most treasured writers during these unprecedented times, so it seems only fitting that their amazing work is honoured on some of our iconic post boxes.”
Cassie Chadderton, chief executive of World Book Day, said: “It’s wonderful that children and families have felt the benefit of shared reading during the lockdowns thanks to many authors and illustrators.
“World Book Day aims to that ensure children from all backgrounds can benefit from the improved life chances reading for pleasure offers.
“The challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic mean this mission is now more important than ever, and we’re delighted to team up with Royal Mail to recognise the amazing contribution these authors have made.”
Donaldson said: “I am really looking forward to seeing the finished post box – what a great idea.
“I hope it brings some cheer to families in Sheffield. Maybe children can post some stories or pictures to their friends and family.”