A real page-turner

Postbox honour for children’s authors who are helping kids get through lockdown

‘We are now about to visit the most marvellous places and see the most wonderful things!’  - James and the Giant Peach.

Although the notorious words of wisdom from Roald Dahl don’t resonate in today’s current lockdown, it’s essential items like books that have become a saviour for our mind and soul.

‘Books have been my vital escape, especially in lockdown when we can’t see family and friends or visit new or further afield places,’ says Windermere postwoman Ruth Langhorn.

Today is World Book Day, and in honour of the British authors that have been doing wonderful work in service of children’s literature and wellbeing during lockdowns, Royal Mail has unveiled five digitally-activated special postboxes across the UK.

Each postbox contains a QR code linking to the free services offered by the author it celebrates, for example a YouTube channel from Cressida Cowell offering free online readings.

‘Growing up, I really enjoyed Roald Dahl (I still do)’, says Ruth, pictured with daughter Amelia. ‘My daughter and I enjoy reading together every evening, and other times when we can. We feel it brings us together as a family.

‘Would you believe Amelia’s favourite book is The Jolly Postman – totally on brand, and no prompts from me either!’

Where to visit your closest World Book Day postbox:

  • Cressida Cowell: Waterstones Children’s Laureate and author-illustrator of How To Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once. Her postbox, lavishly decorated with Hiccup and Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon, and with gold trim, is located in Oban, Scotland, where ferries to the west coast islands are caught. Cressida spent her childhood summers on an uninhabited island off the coast of Oban, and its beautiful backdrop was the inspiration for the How To Train Your Dragon series of books – now a hugely-popular film and TV franchise. The postbox also features a photo of Cressida writing on that island as a nine-year-old. (Argyll Street, Oban, PA34 5SG)
  • Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola: Waterstones Children’s Book Of The Year winners 2020. Nathan and Dapo’s book about a science-mad young black girl trying to distract her brother from his phone actively looks to challenge perceptions around race and gender. The bright yellow postbox is in Shepherd’s Bush in London, where Bryon was born. (Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LH)  
  • Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks (parcel postbox): The striking yellow postbox gives a beautifully-designed nod to Lydia and Julia’s work, in particular their recent What The Ladybird Heard series of books. This postbox is located in Sheffield, where Lydia Monks lives. (Clarkehouse Road, Sheffield, S10 2LD)
  • Eloise Williams: Children’s Laureate Wales 2019-21.  Her postbox is in striking regal navy with gold trim, inspired by her much-loved novel Gaslight, and is situated in Cardiff, where she spent much of her childhood. (St. John Street, Cardiff) CF10 1GN
  • Sam McBratney: Author of Guess How Much I Love You. The author of one of the most beloved modern children’s books, Northern Irish writer Sam McBratney very sadly passed away last year. Royal Mail hopes that the beautiful cream postbox in Sam’s birthplace of Belfast is a fitting tribute to his legacy. (Donegal Square West, Belfast, BT1 6JA).
4 Mar 2021