Zog lands at Evelina London

Posted on Friday 9th September 2016
Axel Scheffler, Abigail Cartwright, Zog and Julia Donaldson at the launch of Zog and the Flying Doctors.

Axel Scheffler, Abigail Cartwright, Zog and Julia Donaldson at the launch of Zog and the Flying Doctors

The UK’s number one children’s book duo, author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, launched their new book and unveiled a unique mural at Evelina London Children’s Hospital on Thursday 8 September.

Families and staff joined Julia and Axel to celebrate the publication of Zog and the Flying Doctors and launch the ‘Read and Roar Aloud’ campaign with their publisher Scholastic Children’s Books and the charity Readathon at The Evelina Hospital School.

Julia Donaldson and actors performed the story of Zog the dragon for families, delighting children with a short play, songs and a chance to meet the loveable character.

Axel Scheffler drew live for the audience and unveiled a stunning new 12-metre mural presented to the hospital by Scholastic Children’s Books and featuring artwork from the new book – and crowned with special bespoke painting of Zog which Axel completed at the hospital.

Julia and Axel’s ‘Read and Roar Aloud’ campaign aims to encourage parents to read with their children for longer. As reading is an activity that parents can easily do with children in hospital, Zog-themed Readathon kits containing advice, tips and free activities to support reading will be made available in 32 children’s hospitals.

Julia Donaldson says: “Reading is like flying – it can carry you to different worlds you never knew existed. But you can't fly without take-off. I hope that many children and adults will ‘Read and Roar Aloud’ together. Launching at Evelina London Children’s Hospital is perfectly fitting for Zog, the trusty dragon ambulance, and his flying doctor friends.”

Marian Ridley, Director of Evelina London, says: “We were thrilled to host the launch of ‘Read and Roar Aloud’ and Zog and the Flying Doctors with our hospital school. Julia and Axel’s books are a firm favourite with many of our patients so it really is a treat that they have heard one of the first public readings, although patients may now be disappointed when our doctors don’t appear on the back of a dragon.

“The mural is outstanding and stretches down the corridor leading to our new procedure room and main theatres. The artwork will provide an excellent distraction for our young patients. When it opens later this year, the new room will mean we can treat an extra 100 children per month with procedures like investigations or minor surgery.”

Julia Donaldson is the UK’s bestselling author – for the third year running (across all children’s and adult books). Axel Scheffler is one of the most recognisable artists in the UK and beyond – 12 of the top 20 picture books in 2015 were by Axel.