With our recent research revealing that 83 per cent of children say they love being read to and 68 per cent describing it as 'special time' with their parents, it seems bedtime stories are as popular now as they ever were. That's why we launched our Sleepy Stories campaign to encourage families to keep the tradition of reading at the heart of their bedtime routines.
We invited children across the country to pen a short story, featuring our loveable hippo and duck characters.
From the launch of our Sleepy Stories campaign in May, to eagerly awaiting the drum roll announcing the winner last week, we saw over 500 school children across the UK create some absolutely fantastic stories!
And our judge, author Anne Fine, agreed saying "I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Sleepy Stories. it amazes me how imaginative young people are."
After much deliberation, eight year old Toby Hopson, a pupil at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Doncaster, was crowned the winner. Toby's story, "Hippo and duck help Marlo Monkey," led us on a journey where our iconic characters, Hippo and Duck, helped little Marlo the monkey drift off to sleep.
As part of his well deserved prize, Toby saw his story published and won £1,000 worth of books for his school, along with receiving a brand new Silentnight bed.
"I couldn't believe it when I found out I had won," Toby said. "My mum used to read Anne Fine stories to me when I was younger, so it's amazing that she judged mine the winner!"
See how Toby reacted when he was presented with his prize by Anne Fine in front of all his school friends here.
Toby's story, along with those of the top ten finalists, are available to download here.
Congratulations again to our winner Toby Hopson!
For more information please visit the Sleepy Stories section of our website here.