General Mills said today that it is repeating its Spoonful of Stories campaign for the fifth year, putting 5 million kids’ books inside boxes of Cheerios cereal.
The annual campaign is tied to National Children’s Book Week (Nov. 13-19) and runs through General Mills’ longtime partner, non-profit foundation First Book.
General Mills will donate a year’s worth of books to 50 reading programs across the U.S., 12 books per child in each program. A mail-in form on Cheerios boxes lets consumers donate money to pay for more books that will go to local programs, in donors’ own communities.
A tie-in with NASCAR star Bobby Labonte, who drives the No. 43 Cheerios Dodge, will donate 43 books for every lap that Labonte completes in the last 10 races of the season. The books go to First Book, which distributes them to local literacy programs. Special editions of five titles are packed in the front of cereal boxes, visible through a cut-out window. The books are sized to fit in the boxes, but carry their original content and illustrations. The 5 million boxes began hitting stores shelves this month, and will run through early spring.
Minneapolis-based General Mills has contributed $2 million to First Book since 2002, enough to buy 5 million books.
The five titles this year are Wiggle (Doreen Cronin and Scott Menchin), Olivia … and the Missing Toy (Ian Falconer), The Tiny Seed (Eric Carle), Horace and Morris Join the Chorus (but what about Dolores?) (James Howe and Amy Walrod) and Little Quack’s Bedtime (Lauren Thompson and Derek Anderson).