Over 200 Books Based On The Classic TV Series The Raccoons Donated To Children’s Book Charity

Written by Keren Williams, Candy Jar Books

London book charity The Children’s Book Project has recently received a donation of over 200 brand new novels based on the classic children’s TV animation series The Raccoons from Candy Jar Books.

The volunteer-based charity runs on book donations and works to redistribute thousands of new and gently used books to children and their families across the UK. The books received are cleaned, sorted and then distributed to families, schools, prisons, community groups and anyone else in need.

The charity, which has been gifted over 1 million books, encourages families and individuals to donate their pre-loved books, and also offers publishers the chance to donate unwanted or excess stock to help reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable publishing industry, while enriching the lives of thousands of children across the UK.

Head of Publishing at Candy Jar, Shaun Russell, says: “We’ve always wanted to donate books to a charity, so what better way to start than with The Raccoons! As well as being able to pass on the magic of the Evergreen Forest to children, The One That Got Away holds a very significant message that will help educate children on the importance of caring for the environment.”

Creator of The Raccoons, Kevin Gillis, had this to say: “The core of The Raccoons television series was all about telling engaging stories from characters you felt were a part of your life. If we can captivate the imaginations of young readers with these books so that they go on to a lifetime of reading, this will be a worthy and gratifying endeavour.”

Although The Raccoons first hit screens in 1985, its message still resonates today. With over 80% of young people eager to take action to help the environment, the stories about the greedy aardvark millionaire Cyril Sneer, who regularly tried to destroy the natural balance of the Evergreen Forest in his quest to make a fortune, are more relevant than ever. The donated books are a great example of what the series stands for as it introduces children to the concept of protecting the environment in a light-hearted and humorous way.

The Raccoons: The One That Got Away is written by former The Beano editor Iain McLaughlin. The book is one of three newly released stand-alone titles based on the classic TV series The Raccoons, which was popular viewing for children who grew up in the mid-’80s, early ’90s.

The Raccoons was originally shown in the UK on the BBC and, mixing anarchic humour with great storytelling, the classic Canadian animation TV series focused on the exploits of Bert Raccoon, his best friend Cedric Sneer, Melissa and Ralph, Schaeffer the dog, and, of course, the  dastardly pink aardvark, Cyril Sneer.

Kevin says: “We’re delighted to be working with Candy Jar Books in releasing a set of stories featuring the Raccoons, and the characters of the Evergreen Forest, for the very first time. Candy Jar has brought together a great team of well-known authors to write these novels. They have done an incredible job capturing the drama, mystery and comedy of the series for a great co-reading book experience.”

The newly released book series brings all of the original characters to print for the very first time and aims to entertain children with fun stories which have been specifically created to encourage parents to read along with their children. Each easy-read novel has seven chapters, one for each day of the week and, as well as this, the books feature QR codes which allow the reader to access additional interactive video and music content.

Author Iain McLaughlin says: “I was incredibly fortunate to grow up with parents and grandparents who loved reading and valued it enormously. That meant we always had books to read, and those books gave me so much. They let me have adventures, see amazing places all over the world or even other worlds in other galaxies. They let my imagination fly and I learned so much about places and history and more than anything, I learned about people. Books are a wonderful way to expand someone’s world and to free their imagination. I’m lucky enough to have been writing for children for almost forty years and I’ve seen how much they get from reading. Giving books to children who might otherwise not have the chance to read lets them have that opportunity to immerse themselves in that world the book invents and feel part of it… that’s a fabulous thing to do. Every child deserves the chance to experience that wonderful joy that comes from reading and to let their imagination fly free with it.”

The new books include: Cry Wolf! by John Peel (author of Eerie Indiana, Are You Afraid the Dark, The Secret World of Alex Mack, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries and Doctor Who), The One That Got Away by Iain McLaughlin (the former editor of Britain’s longest-running comic, The Beano, and author of books based on The Tomorrow People, Dennis the Menace and Doctor Who), and Blast From The Past! by Chris McGuire (who produced the Hannah Montana spin-off series, Hannah-Oke, launched Hacker T Dog, and developed and wrote the BAFTA-winning Me:TV and Emmy-winning Pet School for CBBC).

The three books are being distributed by the Books Council of Wales, and are available from Gardners, Peters, Waterstones, Amazon and your local independent bookstore.