Illustrators team up to create calendar and raise thousands for BookTrust

“A basic love of children’s books and encouraging children and parents to sit and read with their children, is all you need to be a good fundraiser for BookTrust," Peter Sheldon says.

The 2024 BookTrust Friends calendar

For many years Peter Sheldon has been championing children’s reading. So much so, that for the past five years he has produced and sold a calendar in collaboration with many of his illustrator friends, Quentin Blake, Colin and Jacqui Hawkins, Michael Foreman, Colin McNaughton, Ruth Brown and Posy Simmonds (to name just a few) to raise money for BookTrust.

Sales of Peter’s beautiful, uniquely designed calendar have raised almost £3,000 so far.

Peter’s long-running profession in the children’s book trade and illustration mean he has a close affinity with BookTrust’s mission to get children reading. “I always liked pictures in stories and comics growing up,” says Peter, who used to enjoy spending Friday afternoons going through the pile of new picture books published that week at work.

Peter and friends get creative with the sales of the calendar, selling it through friends, local shops, and The Youth Libraries Group. Peter and his friend Anne - who handles admin and despatching the calendar - sell around 400 copies every year with all profits going to BookTrust. Copies have previously found their way to Spain, Australia, the US and Canada.

Peter Sheldon reading with his grandchildrenPeter Sheldon reading with his grandchildren

This year Peter and his team are increasing their print run due to continued demand. “I’m so chuffed, it’s truly wonderful to see that we can raise more money through the sale of extra copies to BookTrust supporters.”

If you would like more information or to buy a copy of the 2024 calendar, please email Anne on [email protected] and she will be delighted to help you out.

When asked which part of the project he loves most, Peter said “Oh… receiving the original artwork by post or email. The eclectic mix of style and illustration is beautiful. Then when it all starts to come together, and you can see the running sequence, and I get to sneak in the jokes – I love that part!”

Do you have a passion like Peter that you could use to help bring the joy of reading to more children across the UK?  Whether you’re an avid reader or not, if you support of our work in getting children reading, we need you.

If you already have a fundraising idea or want to support us but don’t know where to start – we want to hear from you. Runners, bakers, painters, and merry makers, don't delay - start fundraising for BookTrust today.

Find out more about becoming a BookTrust fundraiser