A trio of celebrities have been filmed reading inspiring and encouraging stories for schoolchildren about the adventures of Barnardo’s mascot Big Todd to mark World Book Day.

Each digital book features Big Todd, the mascot of Barnardo’s annual Big Toddle pre-school fundraiser, and aims to encourage children to be brave, adventurous, and supportive. The charity has produced the e-books for primary school teachers, who are part of the charity’s education programme, to use as a free digital lesson plan.

Actor Jason Flemyng, TV Astronomer Mark Thompson and Olympic swimmer Mark Foster, have been filmed reading the books for pupils around the country to watch in lessons.

Barnardo’s Ambassador Jason Flemyng read Big Todd’s Pirate Adventure. He said:

“What a fun read this was. Big Todd and his friends board a pirate ship, rescue another pirate crew and even find buried treasure! World Book Day is a great opportunity for children to spend some time reading or listening to stories. I hope this encourages children to dream about their own adventures.

Ambassador Mark Thompson read the story of Big Todd’s Intergalactic Adventure. He said:

“As someone who has always wanted to go into space, I thought this was a really exciting, fun story. Big Todd finds an alien and learns about their planet where everyone is happy and kind. I hope it might inspire some young minds to reach for the stars and perhaps be a little kinder to each other”.

Barnardo’s supporter Mark Foster read the sweet tale of The Gentle Giant. He said:

“The Gentle Giant is a lovely story and I know it will capture the imaginations of schoolchildren around the country. Big Todd decides to be brave and hold his own Big Toddle to help those in need and ends up raising lots of money. I hope it shows children that when they need to be, they can be brave and make a difference too.”

Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan said:

“Reading helps to feed children’s imaginations and opens their minds.

“We’re very grateful to our celebrity supporters and hope their readings inspire children to read and motivate them to be brave, adventurous and supportive.”

Follow @barnardos to see the video clips on World Book Day.