Grammy winning singer Pharrell Williams has unveiled plans to donate up to 50,000 books to encourage young children to read.
The hip-hop star, 42, teamed up with officials at non-profit group FirstBook to provide reading materials to disadvantaged kids, reported Billboard magazine. The campaign is designed to coincide with the upcoming release of Williams’ new picture book Happy!, which is based on his “Despicable Me 2” theme song of the same name.
Publishers at Penguin Young Readers are also urging fans to spread the word on social media by sharing why reading makes them happy using the hashtag “#readHappy”, with each post generating a book donation to children in need. “Every child on this planet deserves to experience the joy of reading,” said Williams, a father of one.
Happy! the book, which features illustrations of youngsters celebrating what it means to be happy, hits retailers next week. Announcing the print news earlier this year, an excited Williams gushed, “I’m so proud of my collaboration with Penguin and to be able to share my book Happy! with all the young readers out there. “I love what I do and am grateful to all the people who felt that ‘Happy’ resonated with them. My hope is that this book inspires a child’s imagination and creativity and that it teaches the importance of being happy and true to yourself.”