Idris Elba Promotes Literacy By Lending His Voice To An Inspiring New Children's Book

“The Little Chicken Named Pong-Pong” has a powerful backstory.

Over New Year's, fans young and old were charmed when they heard Tom Hardy read a bedtime story for the BBC. Now another famous Brit, Idris Elba, is lending his voice to a children's book, and it's all for a good cause.

In a video with Project Literacy for International Literacy Day earlier this month, Elba sits down in an armchair for an animated reading of The Little Chicken Named Pong-Pong, an adorable retelling of the classic story Chicken Little.


The book also comes with an inspiring backstory. It was written by a Philadelphia mom named Wanda Steward, who has spent the last year learning to read and write. "My children went to school having problems, kids picked on them," Steward told local news, "and I shared this story with them so they would be able to get up in the morning, and feel good about themselves and hold their head up high."

You can download Steward's book for free here, and Pearson, the learning company which funded the project, will donate $1 for each download to adult literacy charities, up to $10,000.

"Story time has always been one of the most magical and treasured parts of the day for me to connect with my children but it's something that millions of parents across the U.K. who struggle with their reading are missing out on," Elba, who is a Project Literacy Ambassador, said in a press release.

According to Pearson, more than 5 million adults are unable to read and write in the U.K. A 2013 study found that the number is approximately 32 million in the United States.

Elba, who also wrote the book's foreword, added, "Through sharing Wanda's inspiring journey, we want to help others understand the importance of investing in adult literacy, which is why we're encouraging as many people as possible to support us by reading Wanda's story."

Watch Idris Elba read “The Little Chicken Named Pong-Pong” below:

(H/T: HuffPost)


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