POPULAR Australian children’s author, Andy Griffiths joined forces with Pan Macmillan publishers and Toys R Us South Africa in a recent school visit, promoting literacy to young learners. Pupils at Chelsea Preparatory and Our Lady of Fatima in Durban North as well as Hillcrest Primary in the upper Highway area, were in high spirits to have the exclusive opportunity to meet and greet their favourite author of the well-known Treehouse series. The cherry on top, was a surprise visit by their favourite Toys R Us mascot – Geoffrey the Giraffe. “Children form the core of our brand, and it gives us great pleasure to collaborate with established publishers, Pan Macmillan and much-loved author, Andy Griffiths in a drive to encourage youngsters to embrace the joys of reading. We encourage parents to explore the Treehouse series and other titles stocked at your nearest Toys R Us store to begin their reading journey,” says Catherine Jacoby, head of marketing Toys R Us & Babies R Us South Africa. Over the last 20 years Griffith’s books have been New York Times bestsellers, adapted for the stage and television and won more than 50 Australian children’s choice awards. Griffiths, a passionate advocate for literacy, is an ambassador for The Indigenous Literacy Foundation and The Pyjama Foundation. Based on his international acclaim, the schools were abuzz with activity as children browsed through the vast collection, eager to get started, reading their new books. After an entertaining presentation by Griffiths, children were given the opportunity to purchase books from a wide variety on offer at both schools.