Andersen Press readies for a bumper Elmer Day celebration

Elmer Day is back on 28 May with a return to in-person and bookshop events around the country, a herd of new and exciting partnerships, and a new paperback edition of the latest Elmer picture book, Elmer and the Bedtime Story, by the late, great David McKee. Rounding off the celebrations is the first Elmer title available on Yoto, the interactive kids’ audio platform.

Elmer Day is Andersen Press‘s annual celebration of David McKee’s iconic patchwork elephant, encouraging bookshops, libraries, schools, nurseries and families at home to celebrate Elmer’s message of friendship, inclusivity and embracing everyone’s colours.

A free activity pack, which has already had over 1,500 downloads in the run-up to the day itself, is available here. The pack is a selection of activity sheets and ideas for games, lessons and story times featuring Elmer, with new resources from charity partners The Sleep Charity, with sleep hints and tips based on the latest Elmer book Elmer and the Bedtime Story, activities from LGBT+ charity Just Like Us extending Elmer Pride activity from 2021, and resources from anti-bullying charity partner Kidscape.

In-person events are also back following their temporary suspension during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Elmer costume appearances and story times in Waterstones stores in Kensington, Altrincham, Manchester Deansgate and the Arndale Centre.

Chessington World of Adventures will celebrate Elmer’s Flying Jumbos ride with its special Mardi Grrra! event from 27 May, which will see Elmer and his own ‘Kolour Krewe’ take centre stage in the park with songs, dance and character meet-and-greets. For more information on the event, click here.

In the licensing space, kids’ audio platform Yoto has launched its first-ever Elmer title. The Elmer Collection will be made available for use with the award-winning Yoto Player and new Yoto Mini.

In addition, Dennicci has launched new babywear ranges with Matalan and Tu at Sainsbury’s, and Robert Frederick has launched Elmer storage boxes with The Works. Plush and toy licensee Rainbow Designs and greetings card licensee Danilo are hosting social media competitions.

Elmer Day is on 28 May 2022. To download a FREE activity pack, click on the link here:

Kids’ audio platform Yoto raises $17m funding to fuel European and North American growth

The kids’ audio platform, Yoto – the London-based team behind the award-winning Yoto Player – has raised $17 million in a Series A funding to help facilitate its rapid growth across Europe and North America.

The investment was led by Acton Capital with participation from JamJar Investments, Global Founders Capital, Emerge Education, as well as MPL Ventures.

Controlled using physical cards to play children’s audio content, Yoto Player has been developed to give children full control over their listening with access to entertaining audio – spanning stories and music – designed to encourage learning and imaginative play.

Since launching the new Yoto Player in early 2020, the firm has experienced explosive growth, securing partnerships and content deals with trusted household names such as LEGO and Disney as well as licenses with Penguin Random House, Sony Music, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan and more.

Yoto’s extensive and expanding content library features some of the world’s greatest children’s content including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Gruffalo, The Snowman, and Planet Omar with LEGO Duplo, Frozen, Finding Nemo and many more household names to be released in the coming months.

“In times where kids are growing-up on screens, one of the most important skills they need is to be able to use technology consciously and with balance. Yoto’s proprietary audio platform puts children in full control of how and when they consume audio content,” said Fritz Oidtmann, managing partner at Acton Capital.

“What further convinced us to invest was Yoto’s unique approach to combining native content with carefully curated partnerships. We are very happy to support the team’s vision to make Yoto’s high-quality, kid-centered content available worldwide.”

Richard Reed, JamJar Investments and Innocent Drinks co-founder, said: As a dad of three, I know from first-hand experience what a lifesaver Yoto is – it fires up your kids’ imagination and creativity, so they play independently and safely.

“As an investor, Yoto is everything you could be looking for – a new entertainment format for kids that has limitless potential, loved by its buyers and adored by its users, led by a whip smart, mission-focused team.”

In an effort to offer audio that will inspire the next generation of independent creative minds, Yoto is also investing in content that promotes mindfulness, meditation and sleep. Recently, Yoto launched a series of sleep content cards with Lifescore & Abbey Road Studios.

Leading the industry in audio that inspires children to take creative play into their own hands, Yoto also offers music, audio-based activities, podcasts, radio and sound effects.

In addition, the Yoto Player has a ‘Make Your Own’ function enabling users to link to their favourite radio stations or podcasts and record their very own stories.

“We designed Yoto around our own kids and we’ve seen how amazing it is to give kids control of their own listening. I’ve seen how this really does help with creativity and imagination compared to screen-time and the research backs that up,” said Ben Drury, CEO and co-founder of Yoto.

“I’m thrilled with how far we’ve come and the amount of families we’re getting amazing feedback from, and this new investment from some of the best funds in the UK and Europe that share our vision allows us to continue to fuel the curiosity of this generation of young learners through audio.”

Kids’ audio platform Yoto welcomes Frozen, Mickey Mouse and more in Disney and Pixar partnership

The children’s audio platform, Yoto – the team behind the Yoto Player – has detailed a new partnership with Disney and Pixar to release a collection of childhood classics and fantasy favourites, including Frozen, Mickey Mouse, Moana, and more across its library of content.

The new line-up will launch this May and throughout the year. Alongside licensing existing audio, the studio will also release new, original content created by Yoto.

The first collection of five-minute stories will be released in May and will feature much loved Disney characters such as Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, Mickey Mouse, Moana and more. These will be followed by classics such as Disney’s 101 Dalmatians and Aladdin, and Disney and Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Cars. Throughout the year, recent blockbusters including Onward and Soulwill also be released.

Ben Drury, CEO and co-founder of Yoto, said:We’re thrilled that the Yoto platform will now feature beloved childhood classics from Disney and Pixar. Helping children to explore their creativity and imagination through storytelling is incredibly important for us and this will be amplified even further with these new Disney cards featuring some of our favourite childhood characters that will be released throughout the year.”

The Disney cards will be available from Yoto in the UK, Ireland, USA and Canada from 20th May 2021.For more information please visit

Kids audio platform Yoto partners with Ameet and LEGO for Duplo story cards

Yoto, the audio platform for kids and firm behind the critically acclaimed and award-winning Yoto Player, has detailed a new  partnership with AMEET Publishing and LEGO Duplo.

Under the deal, AMEET will co-create a series of six new audio card packs to complement its well-established LEGO Duplo range. The new series will launch this June.

The new LEGO Duplo series of Yoto Cards will allow early learners to enjoy themes ranging from animals shapes, to mindfulness, using the colourful DUPLO bricks alongside the cards to heighten their imaginative play and motor skill development.

The Yoto Player is a screen-free, camera- and microphone-free connected speaker designed specifically for the use of children from three to twelve years old to safely control their listening by entertaining and educating them while reducing screen-time.

Ben Drury, CEO and co-founder of Yoto, said: “Allowing children to increase their creativity and imagination through play and storytelling is incredibly important for us at Yoto and so working with a like-minded company with the same core values as AMEET and the LEGO Group was a no brainer for us. This partnership is hugely exciting for us with lots more to come so watch this space.”

Dan Shepherd, international sales and marketing director from AMEET, added: “The Yoto cards will bring DUPLO stories, learning, and play to modern families through immersive audio experiences that encourage creativity and storytelling whilst promoting active, physical play. We are proud to partner with an innovative children’s platform like Yoto.”

The co-created audio cards will be available from June 2021.