Up to half a million storybooks will be given to primary school-aged children ahead of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by the Church of England and Thy Kingdom Come, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York’s global prayer movement.
The book, ‘Queen CJ and the Bouncy Castle’, is the latest development from the Cheeky Pandas, a children’s online cartoon series created by Swell Revolution, led by Pete and Nicola James which has featured contributions from people including Archbishop Justin Welby, Nicky Gumbel, and CBeebies’ Gemma Hunt previously.
The free storybook, based on the theme of faithfulness, helps children understand the faithfulness of the God – in honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s 70 years of faithful service.
The book’s creation and distribution is part of plans for this year’s Thy Kingdom Come, a global ecumenical prayer movement initiated by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, which unites Christians in nearly 90% of countries worldwide to pray for evangelisation from Ascension to Pentecost. It is also an official Church of England schools resource for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Alongside the book, similar in size to Mr. Men and Little Miss books, there will be a brand new five-part online TV series of the Cheeky Pandas, based on the Fruit of the Spirit and inspired by the Bible.
There are also Platinum Jubilee music videos for toddlers and young children, and a special ‘Royal’ episode to accompany the storybook, created by the makers of CBBC’s ‘Andy and the Band’ and CBeebies’ ‘The Baby Club’, with voiceovers from Gemma Hunt.
Other free resources will include activity packs, assembly plans, TV episodes online, and music videos of original songs created especially for the series. These can be used in homes, churches, and schools, who are encouraged to order bulk copies of the free book to give out as they choose. They have been generously funded by a range of external funders.
More than a quarter(135,000) of the half a million books have already been ordered.
Nigel Genders, Church of England’s Chief Education Officer, said: “We are really excited to be a part of Thy Kingdom Come again this year.
It continues to offer a fantastic opportunity for schools to engage children and young people in thinking creatively about prayer, faith and offers the opportunity to put this into practice both within school and through serving their local communities.
Pete James, the creator of the Cheeky Pandas said: “It is an honour to partner with Thy Kingdom Come and the Church of England this year to create these resources to nurture young children’s faith in a fun way, in celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
“The new series of online TV cartoons and the book are based on the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians. With new songs to dance along to, and activity packs to enjoy, we hope these fun resources will help children grow deeper in their faith during this year’s Thy Kingdom Come.”
More information and how to Order the books.
Written by: Kemi Bamgbose