LAMPARD LAUNCHES CHILDREN'S BOOK SERIES

As he launches his new children's book series, Frankie's Magic Football, Frank Lampard has given his backing to this year's Summer Reading Challenge, in association with The Reading Agency.

Frankie's Magic Football is a series of books for children over the age of five which have been written by the Chelsea midfielder.

The stories follow the adventures of a school boy, Frankie, his football-loving friends and trusty pet dog Max as they battle baddies from fantasy worlds and learn valuable lessons, both on and off the field.

The first book in the series, Frankie versus the Pirate Pillagers, is released today, with two more, Frankie versus the Rowdy Romans and Frankie versus the Mummy's Menace scheduled for later this year and a further two set to be released in early 2014.

Lampard's debut offering appears on The Reading Agency's Creepy House-themed book list, which provides six age-appropriate suggestions of what to read for youngsters, and the player expressed his delight at being involved in such a wonderful project.

'I'm proud to be a champion for this year's Summer Reading Challenge and that Frankie's Magic Football is included on the books-to-read list,' he said.

'Reading with my children is incredibly important to me and a wonderful way to spend time together as a family, exploring magical worlds, through books and stories.

'I hope that many boys and girls will be inspired this summer to take up the Summer Reading Challenge and enjoy all of the brilliant books available to them at their local library.'

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Miranda McKearney, director of The Reading Agency, is equally pleased to have such an iconic role model on board.

'What a thrill, to have Frank Lampard become a champion for the Summer Reading Challenge in libraries,' she said.

'We need new approaches to crack society's literacy problems and help boys feel differently about reading. The combination of Lampard's celebrity involvement with the freedom and fun of the challenge will be extremely powerful.'

Frankie versus the Pirate Pillagers is available from today (Thursday) and can be purchased from the Stamford Bridge Megastore.

On Saturday 22 June at 2pm, Lampard will be signing copies of the book in the Toy Kingdom at Harrods, Knightsbridge.