The author of the world famous Spiderwick Chronicles and recent bestseller, The Search for Wondla, Tony DiTerlizzi today launches an exciting literary project to benefit sick children in collaboration with Starlight Children’s Foundation and publisher Simon & Schuster.Starlight Storytellers is a national venture that will see authors, illustrators and storytellers visiting hospitals and hospices around the UK to bring books to life for children that are suffering from illness.
As a global ambassador of Starlight Children’s Foundation, Tony hopes that Starlight Storytellers will help hundreds of children to escape the fear and pain of their illness as they learn to harness the power of their imagination through narratives and drawings.
With Tony’s help and the support of Simon & Schuster, Starlight is providing an exciting programme of storytelling events in hospitals and hospices throughout the country. Tony will launch the initiative by hosting two reading events in hospitals in Edinburgh and London during his tour of the UK to promote his new book, The Search for WondLa, with five further events planned.
The Starlight Storytellers’ line-up will also include Sue Hendra, the author and illustrator of Barry the Fish With Fingers and Norman the Slug with the Silly Shell, Claire Freedman author and co-creator of Aliens Love Underpants, and the author of the Stunt Bunny series, Tamsyn Murray. It will also feature hospital visits from bestselling author Cathy Hopkins, of the series Million Dollar Mates, and the award-winning author of Girl, Missing, Sophie McKenzie.
Starlight, which grants wishes for seriously and terminally ill children and provides entertainment in hospitals and hospices, invited Tony to become a Global Ambassador in March this year as a result of his long-standing commitment to the cause in the US. He became a supporter of Starlight, which champions the benefits of play therapy in the treatment of children, when he was frequently in hospital with his daughter who suffered from seizures at a young age.
Through this experience, Tony saw that when a poorly child is distracted by play and entertainment they are less anxious and feel less pain. Research has shown that play therapy can speed recovery as happy children respond much better to treatment and Tony hopes that Starlight Storytellers will dramatically improve the hospital experience of hundreds of seriously ill children in the UK each year.
Tony DiTerlizzi said, “I am absolutely passionate about the lifelong importance of using your imagination – you’re never too old to create a new world, adventure or companion in your mind. For children that are suffering from illness, storytelling can offer an escape from their pain and fear, which in turn can help them to get better more quickly.
“Bringing the joy of books, stories, illustrations and imagination to young people’s lives is what I’ve been doing my whole working life, and I am thrilled and honoured to share in Starlight’s mission of brightening the lives of sick children and their families.”
Amelisa Robinson, Head of Events and Hospital Services at Starlight Children’s Foundation, added, “Starlight is always looking for innovative ways to bring entertainment and distraction to children’s wards across the country and we are delighted to work with Simon & Schuster and its fabulous collection of children’s authors and illustrators on this project.
“Tony is a dedicated supporter of Starlight both here and in the US. We are honoured to have him front this campaign, both as Global Ambassador of the charity and as a parent that knows just how beneficial play can be for a child coping with illness.”
Notes to Editors
About Tony DiTerlizzi
International bestselling author and illustrator, Tony DiTerlizzi, has been creating books with Simon and Schuster for over a decade. From his fanciful picture books like, Ted, G is for 1 Gzonk and the critically acclaimed The Spider and the Fly to older fiction like his new novel, The Search for WondLa, Tony always imbues his stories with a rich imagination. His best known series, The Spiderwick Chronicles (created with Holly Black), has sold millions of copies, been adapted into a feature film, and has been translated in over thirty countries. Tony lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife, Angela, and their daughter, Sophia.
About Simon and Schuster UK
Simon & Schuster UK Children’s Publishing was founded in 1998. Since then it has published numerous popular and bestselling titles and series, including The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black, work by multi-award winning author Sophie McKenzie, The Great Hamster Massacre by Katie Davies winner of The Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2010, Yuck by Matt and Dave, Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort, Olivia by Ian Falconer, Dora the Explorer, bestselling paranormal romance Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, and work by LJ Smith and Robert Sabuda. Simon & Schuster was highly commended in the Bookseller Industry Awards 2011, Children’s Publisher of the Year category.
Simon & Schuster, a part of the CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and non-fiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the United States.
Contact: Henny Breakwell
Tel: 020 7262 2881 #231
Starlight grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.
Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and Starlight helps children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.
You can make a donation online or by calling us on 020 7262 2881. For every £1 you donate, Starlight can assure you that over 91p goes towards helping very ill children. To refer a child for a wish, simply complete our wish referral form.