Macmillan Children’s Books celebrates Dear Zoo in new F&F at Tesco range

Macmillan Children’s Books has struck up a new deal with Tesco’s clothing brand F&F to launch a range of baby clothing based on the classic pre-school storybook Dear Zoo created by Rod Campbell.

Developed by Paul Dennicci for F&F at Tesco, the range launched last week across 165 stores nationwide, tying in with a special Tesco Baby Event. The initial collection features six garments, including vests, bibs, and a sleeping bag, all designed for babies aged 0 to 24 months.

The launch reflects the renewed interest in Dear Zoo and builds on the success of the core licensing partners, including Hacche Retail (puzzles and games for Marks & Spencer), Milly & Flynn (games and wooden toys), Neviti (party paperware) and Paul Lamond Games (puzzles and dominoes).

The launch will be supported by a campaign with ComeRound (, the word-of-mouth marketing agency that is dedicated to harnessing the power of real people recommending products they genuinely love from inside the home. Over 100 families will receive a pack of Dear Zoo books and merchandise and will celebrate at the end of July with at-home Dear Zoo Read and Play Days. Alongside, there is also strong online influencer activity, focusing on the new apparel.

Stephanie Barton, publisher at Macmillan Children’s Books, said: “We brought the licensing of Dear Zoo in-house to take full advantage of the popularity of this evergreen and well-loved book. We are targeting a small number of core product categories to build on the success of our current, long-standing licensing partners. We’ve had such a wonderful response to Dear Zoo, in part due to the wonderful new assets that Rod Campbell himself and the team at Macmillan have created.

“We are delighted with Tesco’s commitment and enthusiasm and I know that Dear Zoo readers and their parents will be very excited by these lovely new products.”

The Dear Zoo classic storybook continues to be at the heart of families throughout the UK. Following on from its place as the number one Picture book in 2018, sales last year were up 19 per cent. The classic board book version appeared in the Nielsen Preschool Top 20 every single week of 2019.

The Dear Zoo Live on Stage play launched in 2018 and already nearly 85,000 children and families throughout the UK have enjoyed the performances. It also successfully toured in the UAE, Hong Kong and Singapore in 2019. With World Book Day 2021 already in mind, Macmillan Children’s Books is intending to add to the list of Dear Zoo licensees across the core dressing up, soft toy, nursery, gifting and stationery sectors shortly.


About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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