Peter Rabbit’s birthday celebrations continue with community gardening campaign

To mark 120 years since the publication of Beatrix Potter’s much-loved children’s classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit, publisher Penguin Random House Children’s has today announced a three-year partnership with non-profit garden designers Grow2Know CIC, on behalf of Frederick Warne & Co. (owners of The World of Peter Rabbit).

A pioneering non-profit dedicated to reconnecting people with nature and each other through the creation of community gardens, Grow2Know reclaims blank spaces and transforms them into gardens designed to contribute to local residents’ health, happiness and wellbeing.

The seed for Grow2Know was sown by North Kensington resident Tayshan Hayden-Smith (pictured) in response to the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in 2017, when residents came together to green up spaces in the area to uplift and unify the community through nature – inspiring the creation of the Grenfell Garden of Peace.

The new Grow With Peter Rabbit initiative has been developed by Penguin Random House Children’s in partnership with Grow2Know to bring the benefits of gardening and spending time in nature to as many families as possible. Drawing on Peter Rabbit’s playful nature, as well as his insatiable appetite for vegetables, Grow2Know’s founders – semi-professional footballer, community activist and TV presenter Tayshan Hayden-Smith, garden designer and TV presenter Danny Clarke (aka ‘The Black Gardener’), and Ali Yellop, agriculturist, chef and herbalist – will design and deliver three Peter Rabbit community garden makeovers between now and 2024.

The first Peter Rabbit-inspired garden is currently in development in a disused plot attached to St Clement & St James CE Primary School, Kensington: a school in the heart of the community where Grow2Know was founded, and the borough in which Peter Rabbit’s creator, Beatrix Potter, was born on 28 July 1866. The garden will be unveiled just before the school breaks up for the summer holidays. An illustration showing the design inspiration for the garden, by visual artist Kai McKim, is revealed today.

Interactive areas for children to read, play, grow and learn, inspired by the adventures of Peter Rabbit and friends, have been incorporated into the garden, which can be used by the local community to host workshops and events from this summer onwards.

Members of the public from across the UK will also be encouraged to Grow With Peter Rabbit from home during National Children’s Gardening Week 2022 (28 May to 5 June) when a series of filmed How-To videos, led by Tayshan Hayden-Smith, will be released.

TV presenter and farmer JB Gill will take part in the challenge on his social media, as will married couple Jake and Hannah Graf MBE, named by the Guardian as one of the UK’s most influential LBGTQ couples, who – alongside their current careers and parenting responsibilities – are vocal advocates for the trans community. Along with their families, they will be joining in with the Grow With Peter Rabbit challenge to demonstrate how easy and fun it is to grow your own vegetables at home using simple, upcycled objects and a packet of seeds.

In addition, primary school teachers across the UK will have access to specially created Grow With Peter Rabbit learning resources, meaning multiple opportunities for parents and children to engage with the 120th-anniversary campaign.

Supporters of Grow With Peter Rabbit include garden centre retailer Dobbies and London-based non-profit organisation Octavia.

Dobbies, the official garden centre partner for The World of Peter Rabbit this year, will be donating plants and materials for the school garden in support of the initiative, as well as hosting free Peter Rabbit workshops in stores nationwide.

Octavia, founded by the Victorian philanthropist Octavia Hill to support Londoners of all ages, is providing a contribution towards the build through its Better Lives Community Fund, which supports projects which reduce loneliness and isolation amongst young people in London.

Hoppy Days: new Peter Rabbit attraction is coming to Blackpool

Beloved characters from the award-winning PETER RABBIT animated TV series, produced by Silvergate Media, are set to make a new home on Blackpool’s famous seafront next year, in a partnership that marks the first stand-alone Merlin visitor attraction to be based on the series.

Developed by location-based entertainment company Merlin in partnership with Silvergate Media, Penguin Ventures (on behalf of PETER RABBIT™ brand owners Frederick Warne & Co.) and Blackpool Council, the £1 million investment has been 18 months in the making. The attraction is set to open next door to the famous Madame Tussauds Blackpool as part of a new standalone experience. The addition will join Merlin’s six other attractions in Blackpool including The Blackpool Tower and SEA LIFE Blackpool.

The new experience will provide visitors with the opportunity to hop into the world of Peter and his friends to embark on an adventure across five themed zones. Guests will need to think like a rabbit, move like a rabbit and deploy rabbit-like senses with a whole burrow-full of creativity in order to complete the challenges and earn badges – seeing if they have the skills to join the secret treehouse club. Guests will also be able to meet, greet and ‘high-paw’ with Peter himself.

“Working with Merlin on creating this attraction over the past year, pulling together ideas and new themes from the show and seeing them come to life has been such a thrill,” says Thomas Merrington, Creative Director Live & Experiential at Penguin Ventures. “This really will deliver a brand new experience and I am so excited to see how our young fans will engage with the multiple aspects of this highly interactive play attraction.”



Penguin Ventures announces new Peter Rabbit collection from Blade & Rose

Penguin Ventures has announced a new Peter Rabbit apparel collaboration with Blade & Rose, on behalf of Frederick Warne & Co (owner of THE WORLD OF PETER RABBIT and part of Penguin Random House).

The leading children’s clothing brand specialises in trend-setting leggings, featuring stylish and quirky designs on the bottom with matching accessories.

The Blade & Rose X Peter Rabbit collection features five distinct designs – Veg Patch, Playtime, Floral, Classic and Festive – which all take inspiration from Beatrix Potter’s Lake District, where Blade & Rose are based. Each set includes a long-sleeved top, matching leggings and socks for babies and preschool children aged 0-4 years and is designed with comfort and longevity in mind.

Jen Greenway, Softlines Category Manager at Penguin Ventures says: “Blade & Rose have done a fantastic job of bringing Peter Rabbit to life in their bold and colourful trademark style. The collection includes their iconic leggings with designs on the bottom and is sure to keep little ones cosy and well-dressed this autumn. Blade & Rose keep quality at the heart of their offering and this, together with an impressive commitment to sustainability, has made them a brilliant partner to work with for Peter Rabbit.”

Amanda Peffer, owner and founder of Blade & Rose, says: “We are so excited to launch an iconic collection featuring none other than children’s favourite, Peter Rabbit himself. Blade & Rose was born in the Lake District from a love of bright design and comfort for children, and we take inspiration from the beautiful countryside around us just as Beatrix did when she was creating her famous Tales. We’re delighted to be on this journey with Peter Rabbit and to have launched this amazing collaboration with Penguin Ventures.”

The Winter range will be launched in January and will be available directly from


Peter Rabbit is announced as first licence for My 1st Years by Penguin Ventures

My 1st Years has partnered with THE WORLD OF PETER RABBIT to develop a DTR range in a deal executed by Penguin Ventures on behalf of Frederick Warne & Co. (owner of THE WORLD OF PETER RABBIT brand and part of Penguin Random House).

Following the success of the print on demand personalised product range featuring PETER RABBIT from official licensees, My 1st Years will now develop a Direct to Retail range to expand their offering of bespoke products.  This is the first time My 1st Years has worked directly with a licensor on development.  The cross-category offering will include apparel and fashion accessories from Dennicci; nursery and homeware; stationery and gifts, all of which can be personalised by consumers and ordered directly online.

Susan Bolsover, Global Licensing and Consumer Products Director, Penguin Ventures says: “Our DTR for print on demand and personalised products with My 1st Years is not only a fantastic addition to THE WORLD OF PETER RABBIT licensing family, but will provide gifters with a great opportunity to purchase something truly unique for even the littlest of Peter Rabbit fans this Christmas. We are proud to support an incredibly entrepreneurial and homegrown business whose extensive experience in the UK baby and infant market means Peter Rabbit is in great hands.”

“We have been delighted with the response to the Peter Rabbit licensed products that we currently personalise and so decided to grow the range by developing our very own licensed products,” says Amy Weaver, Head of Buying at My 1st Years. “As newcomers to the world of licensing, My 1st Years is thrilled to be working with Penguin Ventures on a brand as established and as well-loved as Peter Rabbit.  We can’t wait to share the new range which is designed and personalised at our UK studio in Northampton in time for customers this Christmas.”

The new range will be available before Christmas directly from the My 1st Years website.

Penguin Random House Children’s plans 120th birthday celebrations for Peter Rabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was first published in 1902 and since then the iconic rabbit in a blue jacket has gone on to win the hearts of millions of families around the world. The original Tale has sold over 46 million copies globally and has been published in 48 languages including Braille and Hieroglyphics.

Penguin Random House Children’s will be celebrating Peter’s 120th birthday with a suitably adventurous, fun-filled campaign, creating a wealth of opportunities for families to party with Peter throughout 2022.

The Owned Brands team at Penguin Random House Children’s will launch a purpose-driven PR and digital campaign, working with high profile partners and ambassadors in the outdoors space to reaffirm Peter’s continued relevance and appeal to young families. Peter Rabbit’s role as children’s ambassador for the Queen’s Green Canopy will see Peter supporting tree planting initiatives throughout the year whilst celebratory Picnics for Peter will take place during the summer supported by key partners and at locations throughout the UK.

“With an incredible legacy that has endured since 1902, we wanted to use this milestone for the brand to celebrate Peter Rabbit’s continued relevance and resonance with today’s families,” says Izzy Richardson, Global Director, Owned Brands, Penguin Random House Children’s. “Our ambitious, year-long series of birthday celebrations will enable us to connect parents, young children and fans with The World of Peter Rabbit, helping to continue Beatrix Potter’s legacy for a new generation. Through new immersive experiences, digital and social content, consumer products and publishing, everyone is invited to celebrate with Peter in 2022.”

Penguin Ventures, the licensing team at Penguin Random House Children’s, will be growing a number of existing product ranges throughout 2022 in the UK including new apparel collections with expanded retail placement from Dennicci as well as new gardening lines from Jardinopia. In addition DNC are confirmed to launch picnicware and online retailer My First Years is signed for personalised infant product. A number of special commemorative ranges will also launch across plush, apparel and gifting categories.

Penguin Ventures has also confirmed a programme of experiential activations in the UK offering families immersive events throughout the year. A brand new Peter Rabbit Story Time Trail will launch in March and tour libraries and gallery spaces across the country, with venues booked up until July 2023 offering little ones the chance to step into The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Meanwhile the first Peter Rabbit themed entertainment parties will launch in 2022, in a new deal with children’s party entertainers Captain Fantastic, combining party games, magic and plenty of Peter Rabbit’s trademark mischief.

In addition, Happy Birthday Peter Rabbit, a brand new stage production, will be launching at the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in the Lake District next summer. The show encompasses music, puppetry and live action, offering audiences an exciting and memorable theatrical experience.

Outside of the UK, celebrations will include a major touring exhibition of Potter’s original Peter Rabbit artwork in Japan with exhibition partner Toei, marking the first time the collection will have left the UK. The exhibition will tour three major cities from March through to November and is expected to attract over 160,000 visitors, and will be supported by a national media campaign. Additionally, a new permanent Peter Rabbit English Garden will open at Fuji Motosuko Resort in a deal brokered by Sony Creative Products with Fujikyuko Co. Ltd. The attraction will include a café, shop and museum. A new Japanese publishing partner, Hayakawa, has also been confirmed, reflecting Penguin Random House Children’s strategy to bring the World of Peter Rabbit publishing to family audiences in this key territory for the brand.

In Australia, a collectable 120th anniversary stamp pack will be produced by Australia Post and consist of 12 commemorative stamps. The pack will be available in around 1,000 Australia Post stores across the country. In addition, plush partner Jasnor will be launching a range of a special edition Peter Rabbit plush to commemorate the anniversary.

“The birthday moment presents a fantastic opportunity for both our existing licensees as well as new partners in the UK and other key international territories,” says Susan Bolsover, Global Licensing and Consumer Products Director, Penguin Ventures. “We have been delighted with the way in which licensees, promotional partners and retailers are supporting this milestone moment, helping create memories for existing and new Peter Rabbit fans alike, be that through products, experiences or events. There is much more to look out for in 2022!”

Finally, Penguin Random House Children’s will be launching a range of commemorative publishing throughout 2022 including a picture book edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, featuring Beatrix Potter’s original text and iconic illustrations. This new large format will be perfect for families to share together, helping new readers discover Peter at his most adventurous. The Tale of Peter Rabbit will be released in picture book format in April 2022, and will be supported with a creative and high-profile Publicity and Marketing anniversary campaign.

Penguin Random House Children’s appoints David Sprei as Commercial Director for Penguin Ventures

David Sprei will be joining Penguin Random House Children’s as Commercial Director for Penguin Ventures on 18 October. He will report to Francesca Dow, MD for Penguin Random House Children’s.

In this newly created role David will lead the Penguin Ventures business to further growth, working in close partnership with Susan Bolsover, Global Licensing and Consumer Products Director, and the Penguin Ventures team. Susan Bolsover will report to David.

David joins from his previous role as Director International Business Development ViacomCBS Consumer Products, focusing on new innovative & non-traditional partnerships across the portfolio. Prior to this David has held commercial and partnership roles at Viacom Velocity (MTV Europe), Instrumental and TBWA Stream, London.

Penguin Ventures is a separate business within Penguin Random House Children’s, which manages and exploits a portfolio of literary brands and characters, most notably Peter Rabbit, The Snowman and Spot, focusing on licensing and consumer products, retail activations, theatrical, exhibitions and commercial partnership strategies. In the UK Penguin Ventures’ most recent successes include a multi-year partnership with Cadburys as well as a global collection with Cath Kidston, both for Classic Peter Rabbit. The team also created a fashion and digital collaboration with Barbour for The Snowman, expanding upon Raymond Briggs’ timeless story through an innovative ad campaign, and were responsible for the UK, Australian and Japanese licensing programme for global box office smash hit movies Peter Rabbit and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.


Penguin and Peter Rabbit help kids celebrate nature this summer with new campaign

Penguin Random House UK and its Peter Rabbit team has launched a new annual campaign aimed at encouraging children and their carers to enjoy being creative in nature this summer.

The Peter Rabbit: Friend to Nature campaign has also tapped the popular lifestyle blogger, Laura Brand as its ambassador to create and present a series of filmed tutorials on the Peter Rabbit website. The nature-filled activities will be shared every Friday in July to inspire parents to enjoy the outdoors with their kids.

The weekly content series is based around themes of nature and friendship and will run throughout the month culminating on International Friendship Day on July 30th.

Brand said: “I grew up with the stories of Beatrix Potter and have loved introducing my two daughters to the world of Peter Rabbit. We have had so much fun creating a series of nature activities for families to enjoy together in the garden or out on a nature walk.

“These ideas are all inspired by Peter Rabbit and the mischievous adventures that he has with his friends and I hope families will enjoy them as much as we have.”

In addition, a series of classroom activities and learning resources have been developed for KS1 school children with Puffin. These will be hosted online and mailed to 37K primary teachers in the UK and made available to key English language-speaking territories.

Izzy Richardson, director owned brands at Penguin Random House, added: “During her lifetime, Beatrix Potter was a pioneering conservationist who was passionate about the natural world. So who better than Peter Rabbit to champion the joy that spending time in nature can bring?

“Peter has an authentic connection to nature and this mid-year campaign will enable us to reach families with meaningful and engaging content beyond Easter. Friend to Nature is perfectly timed to drive awareness of our newly relaunched website, the first in a refresh of all of our Peter Rabbit digital platforms.”

Peter Rabbit: Friend to Nature will launch on Friday, July 9th with new tutorials uploaded every Friday throughout July.

Peter Rabbit selected as Children’s Ambassador for The Queen’s Green Canopy

Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit has been selected as the Children’s Ambassador for The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, a special Platinum Jubilee project that will see a nation-wide tree planting take place in honour of the Queen in 2022.

The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative was launched this week under the theme ‘Trees in Literature’, as the QGC Ambassador, Dame Judi Dench recited a poem in her garden in memory of loved ones. Dench shared her own passion for trees and literature, as well as her support for The Queen’s Green Canopy by recording her recital of A E Houseman’s Loveliest of trees, the cherry now.

“As an official Ambassador for The Queen’s Green Canopy, I am proud to be a part of a nation-wide tree planting initiative to pay tribute to Her Majesty and her lifetime of service to the United Kingdom,” said Dench.

“People of all ages from Land’s End to John O’Groats are being invited to Plant a Tree for the Jubilee in 2022. This country has never before celebrated a Platinum Jubilee and next year we will have the opportunity to thank Her Majesty by planting trees to create an abundant canopy across the four corners of the country. Planting season starts in October, so get ready to plant.”

Meanwhile, and with nature at the heart of the initiative, Peter Rabbit has been selected as the Children’s Ambassador for the project. First published in 1902, The Tale of Peter Rabbit will be celebrating its 120th birthday during the Platinum Jubilee.

Beatrix Potter’s illustrations of trees in nature depict woodland adventures and comfortable homes for her animal creations. Her original pencil sketch of Peter Rabbit’s burrow in the roots of a fir tree will be released in support of The Queen’s Green Canopy launch.

The QGC looks forward to working with Peter who will help children understand the importance of trees as a sanctuary for animals, and to encourage families to become involved in the planting process together.

As The Queen’s Green Canopy looks ahead to the planting season in October, we will be helping people through the dedicated website to learn about the best way to plant trees so that they survive and flourish for years to come.

Peter Rabbit hops onto new £5 crown in latest Penguin Random House partnership with The Royal Mint

The Royal Mint has extended its partnership with Penguin Random House and Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit to bring the titular hero to the commemorative £5 crown and one-ounce coins for the first time.

Peter Rabbit and his friends have previously appeared on the 50 pence piece and have been one of the most popular commemorative coin collections from The Royal Mint. The iconic character has now made the hop over to the a new coin, to feature on the reverse of the £5 crown, as well as silver and gold one ounce coins.

The larger surface area of the £5 crown has allowed The Royal Mint to explore the timeless narrative of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and capture more detail.

The Royal Mint’s own Ffion Gwillim created the design using original storybook illustrations, settling on an image showing the whole Rabbit family together.

Gwillim said: “What I really like about this particular illustration is that it has a great narrative element. As a designer I always look to tell a story, just as Beatrix Potter did in her unique and wonderful way. It was a lot of fun to revisit The Tale of Peter Rabbit. It’s such a timeless classic and Peter’s antics never get old.”

Thomas Merrington, creative director, Penguin Ventures, part of Penguin Random House, added: “Peter Rabbit has had an exceptional adventure with The Royal Mint over the past five years. His appearance on the £5 crown marks a new chapter for our partnership and provides an exciting opportunity to showcase Beatrix Potter’s original illustration in a creative new way.”

The new commemorative coin features a charming scene of the Rabbit family from an early part of the story when Peter’s mother warns him not to get into any mischief. Capturing the warmth and charm of the original illustration, the coin is set to be key piece for collectors.

Clare Maclennan, divisional director for Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint, said: “The £5 crown is truly a wonderful piece for collecting, with the larger surface area showcasing The Royal Mint’s abilities as designers and creators of coinage. It has also allowed us to capture the magical world of Peter Rabbit, which deserves the space to be able to tell such a timeless narrative. Peter Rabbit has been a key part of our commemorative coin journey, and we are pleased to offer him a new platform on a new denomination.”

For fans of the Peter Rabbit commemorative coins, the 2021 coin design will be a popular addition to collections, marking a new chapter for the loveable rabbit. This will be the only release featuring Peter Rabbit this year.

The coin is available as gold and silver Proof editions, as well as a Brilliant Uncirculated edition, available from The Royal Mint.

Please visit  to view the full commemorative coin range.  The coin will not be going into general circulation.

Xplora’s new kids’ smartwatch partners with Tom & Jerry, Peter Rabbit to keep kids active and safe

Dr Who, PlayStation, Peter Rabbit, and Tom & Jerry have been named among the children’s properties to join up to the Norwegian smartwatch company Xplora’s latest move on the kids’ tech space through collaboration on a prize system that rewards kids for staying active and getting their daily steps in.

The tech company has this week launched its XGO2 Android smartwatch, a wearable piece of tech for kids aged five to 12 boasting a number of parent-focused features, including a GPS tracking system as well as the ability to make and receive calls from numbers saved by carers to the device’s control centre.

The biggest selling point of the new smartwatch however, is its approach to active play for children, with a step counter that encourages kids to stay active, investigate, and explore while collecting rewards.

With in-built sensors, the watch can accurately track a child’s steps which earns them Xplora Coins to be used on the Xplora Goplay Platform. The platform aims to motivate children to spend more time taking part in physical activities offline, in exchange for virtual rewards.

Xplora has already secured partnerships with the likes of PlayStation, Peter Rabbit, Dr WHo, and Tom & Jerry.

Kids earn one coin for every 1000 steps they make, which can then be used to claim products, merchandise from the licensing partners, and online game time such as with the Tom & Jerry Pinball game. Users who achieve a top three placement on the leader board will receive exclusive prize bundles.

Research from Xplora has already found that kids who engage with the Goplay platform via their Xplora smartwatches typically take up to 300 per cent more steps a day than regular users.

“Two questions that almost every parent asks themselves are, how can I better communicate with my children, and how can I get them more active?” said Sten Kirkbak, CEO of Xplora.

“That is what drove us to create the Xplora smartwatch for kids. Estimates predict more than 100 million smartwatches for children will be shipped in the next two years, so we realised our product and service platform would need to stand out and address these questions.”

The smartwatch provides a number of safety features for children including an emergency SOS button, as well as the option to set up Safety Zones around key locations such as home and school, sending alerts to parents if their child exits these areas.