The Big Christmas Rescue book by the RNLI can put your child at the heart of a festive rescue
A heart-warming new children’s Christmas book, which can be personalised to put young readers at the centre of the story, is now on sale – with all profits supporting the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) lifesaving work.
Written by the RNLI’s senior editor Rory Stamp, and illustrated by award-winning Hannah Cumming, the buyer can select the name, gender and skin tone of the child so they can see themselves at the heart of the story.
Michael Nield, crew member at Tower lifeboat station in central London, said: ‘The Big Christmas Rescue can be personalised so that your little loved one is the star of the story. It is a lovely book and it will make an ideal gift for young children, with all profits helping the RNLI save lives at sea.
‘This Christmas, volunteer lifeboat crew members across the UK and Ireland will be on call, ready to drop everything and save lives at sea when the pager goes off.’
The Big Christmas Rescue is set on a wet and windy Christmas Eve night and most children are tucked up in bed. But when Santa crashes his sleigh in the sea, volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew members go to the rescue – with the help of a very special child.
Author Rory, 37, is editor of the charity’s Lifeboat magazine. Based at RNLI HQ in Poole, Dorset, he has written many stories of heroism and drama over the 10 years he’s worked for the charity.
He said: ‘I wrote the story in the build up to Christmas 2013 and was able to try it out on the most honest and beautiful critics I could possibly have found, my daughters Lucie and Hattie.
‘It is wonderful to see this book being well-loved by kids, introducing them to the RNLI as well as raising money to help keep volunteer lifeboat crews equipped, trained and safe.’
Bristol illustrator Hannah Cumming was shortlisted for the Portsmouth Book Award in 2012 for her book The Lost Stars and has also written and illustrated two other books – The Cloud and The Red Boat. She has illustrated for the NSPCC and CBeebies, and has painted a Gromit sculpture for the hugely popular Gromit Unleashed trail in Bristol.
Hannah, 31, said: ‘It was such a pleasure illustrating this book, not least because it’s the sort of lovely, heart-warming Christmas story I used to read every Christmas Eve as a child. But also because it was an opportunity to celebrate the vital work the brave RNLI volunteers carry out all year round.’
The book is priced at £9.95 and is available to order online at RNLISHOP.org/BigRescue. The last order date for The Big Christmas Rescue to guarantee delivery before Christmas is Monday 15 December 2014.
RNLI lifeboat crews launched 122 times across the UK and Ireland during last year’s festive period, from 23 December to 1 January, rescuing 62 people and saving five lives – with six launches taking place on Christmas day.
Picture: An RNLI crew member and children with copies of the new Christmas book. Credit: RNLI/Nathan Williams