RNLI book sends kids on mission to rescue Santa

Rory Stamp, RNLI Senior Editor and author of RNLI children's festive book, 'The Big Christmas Rescue'.
Rory Stamp, RNLI Senior Editor and author of RNLI children's festive book, 'The Big Christmas Rescue'.

A heart-warming new children’s Christmas book, which can be personalised to put young readers at the centre of a magical festive story, has been launched.

The buyer can select the name, gender and skin tone of the child at the heart of ‘The Big Christmas Rescue’, making it a unique gift.

Young recipients will be thrilled to flick through the pages and see themselves at the centre of this tale written by RNLI senior editor, Rory Stamp and illustrated by award-winning Hannah Cumming.

Colin Lowe, volunteer helmsman, said: ‘It is a lovely book and makes an ideal gift for young children, with all profits helping the RNLI save lives at sea.

“I’ve already bought The Big Christmas Rescue for my little boy Daniel, who loves everything to do with lifeboats and I know we’re going to have fun reading it on Christmas day.

“Like most volunteer RNLI crew members, I’ll be on call over the festive season so may have to drop everything and head out to sea to rescue someone if my pager goes off – I just hope we manage to get to the end of the story first!”

‘The Big Christmas Rescue’ is set on a wet and windy Christmas Eve night when 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.

This exciting, personalised tale of Christmas courage gives children a special introduction to the work of the RNLI’s volunteer lifesavers while raising vital funds for the charity.

Rory, 37, editor of the charity’s Lifeboat magazine, who wrote the book in his own time, has penned many stories of heroism and drama over the 10 years he has worked for the lifesaving 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.”

Illustrator Hannah 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 and from Bristol, 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. Last order date to guarantee delivery before Christmas is Monday December 15.

*RNLI lifeboat crews launched 122 times across the UK and Ireland during last year’s festive period, rescuing 62 people and saving five lives – with six launches on Christmas Day.