Children's publisher Nosy Crow has partnered with John Lewis to create a picture book of the retailer's hit TV ad about a loving snowman.
In the ad, a snowman makes a long and arduous journey to John Lewis to fetch a Christmas present for his snowgirl beloved. The Snowman's Journey will be sold exclusively by the John Lewis Partnership from 1st December as a £9.99 hardback.
The project was conceived by Nosy Crow's m.d. Kate Wilson, who wrote the rhyming text for the textbook written within 48 hours of the release of the advert on 9th November. A dummy was produced at speed and the book was presented to John Lewis, bought, and sent to print in Italy within a week.
The Snowman's Journey will be the first of Nosy Crow's books to offer a free digital audio reading via a QR code which can be scanned using a tablet, smartphone or iPod touch to stream a reading, complete with sound effects, to the device.
Nosy Crow had planned to debut the technology in its Stories Aloud series in January, but John Lewis was so keen on the feature that it is getting a special preview in The Snowman's Journey. The digital audio component, put together by Tom Bonnick, will use a reading by 13-year-old Freya Wilson, who played Princess Elizabeth in "The King's Speech" as well as music composed by Robin Beanland.
Wilson said: "This was a fantastic team effort involving the sort of hard work and flexibility that's possible in a start-up independent publisher in its first years. I was one of the millions of people who went to YouTube to watch the John Lewis 2012 advert, and that's when I thought it would make a terrific picture book. It's a very simple story of an adventurous and difficult journey, with love at its heart, that everyone can understand,
whether they're an adult or a child."
John Lewis marketing director Craig Inglis said: "I was thrilled to find out that Nosy Crow liked our Christmas advert enough to publish a book based on the story. Our snowman seems to have captured the imagination of a wide audience so it's great that children can now enjoy his epic journey in such a magical book."