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Teach Your Monster to Read is the BAFTA-nominated series of games that helps millions of kids learn to read around the world. Here’s a little more about who funds the game, and the team behind it.

Who funds Teach Your Monster to Read?

Teach Your Monster to Read is funded by the Usborne Foundation, a charity set up by Peter Usborne and his children, Nicola and Martin, to support initiatives to develop early literacy.

Peter Usborne is the founder and MD of Usborne Publishing, one of the world’s leading children’s book publishing companies and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. He is one of the founders of Private Eye magazine and has been awarded an MBE for services to publishing.

Nicola Usborne worked as a Vice President for Scholastic Inc in New York, developing educational and consumer games (including the New York Times bestselling transmedia series “The 39 clues”). Nicola is a BAFTA-winning film producer and Deputy MD of Usborne Publishing, working alongside Peter.

Martin Usborne is a photographer, publisher and writer. Martin has researched gaming extensively for TV programme development.

About the team

Executive Director - Antonio Gould

Antonio has over 20 years experience in creating digital content. He specialises in education and gaming. He’s worked on digital education projects for a wide range of organisations and companies including the BBC, Channel 4, The Open University and Nickelodeon.

Game designers and developers - Jonathan Skuse and Berbank Green (Popleaf)

Jon and Berbank are the game designers and developers of all of our Teach Your Monster to Read games. They are leading UK games designers with decades of combined experience. They’ve worked on award-winning and bestselling titles such as Runescape; Sims 2 (mobile); Final Fantasy: Dirge of Cerberus; Need for Speed and the Creatures series.

Educational advisor - Alison Kelly

Alison is Principal Lecturer in English Education at the University of Roehampton, London, teaching all aspects of literacy with expertise in the effective teaching of systematic synthetic phonics.

Educational advisor - Angela Colvert

Angela is Senior Lecturer in English Education at the University of Roehampton, London with particular expertise in using digital games to develop children’s literacy.

Artist and animator - Rich Wake and Chris Garbutt

Rich and Chris are responsible for making the games look beautiful!

Voice artist - Simon Farnaby

Simon is an actor, writer and comedian. He has been a principal cast member in BBC Horrible Histories, Yonderland, The Mighty Boosh and in the BBC sitcom Detectorists. He has also written and starred in films including Mindhorn and Paddington 2.

Product manager for Teach Your Monster to Read - Alex Goss

Alex is responsible for the commercial, marketing and product management of the games. He wears many hats!

Product manager for Reading for Pleasure - Helen Savage

Helen is responsible for planning and executing several of our projects. Helen heads up the production of our latest game, which gets children reading for pleasure.

Quality assurance manager - Harvey Owen

Harvey takes care of the quality control of our games and website. He tests all iterations of our games to ensure they’re ready to be played by the public.

Customer support - Stefan Kudev

Stefan helps teachers, parents and children play our games. He runs the user support and creates helpful content.

Acknowledgements

Many people, past and present, have done a tremendous job to make this game what it is today:

John Roberts - Commercial and EdTech consultancy

Mark Holdsworth (Factory3) - Design and back end development

Laura Malan - Project management

Leo Allen - Data and organisational coaching

Dannie Price - Marketing and community management

Dina Makanji - Video production

Paul Ratcliffe - Paid marketing

Dean Vipond - Design

Kwok Fung Lam - Animation

Mairi Mackinnon - Educational advisor for TM1

Tom Barrett: Education / IT consultant

Game scripts: Berbank Green (Game 1, 2 and 3) and Maurice Suckling (Game 1)

Sound Recordist: Ed de Lacy / Somethin' Else

Want to find out more about the games?

I was stunned to see how much they enjoyed this. It blew me away.

Matt Lovegrove, Cippenham Primary School

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Why Play?

  • Covers letters and sounds to reading full sentences.
  • Designed in collaboration with leading academics.
  • Computer version is 100% free.

FAQ

Why is the computer version free?

The game has been funded by the Usborne Foundation, a charity set up to support initiatives to develop early literacy.

Our mission is to help as many children learn to read as possible. The computer version is 100% free and we put profits from the app back into the Usborne Foundation, to continue to create new and exciting ways for children to learn.

The charity was founded by Peter Usborne MBE and his children, Nicola and Martin, one of the world’s leading children’s book publishing companies and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. He was previously one of the founders of the magazine Private Eye.

What age is it for?

The game is for children in the first stages of learning to read, or for older children who need a bit more practice. Read more details about the three games.

How do children learn from the game?

The game takes children on a magical journey, meeting colourful characters along the way and collecting fantastic rewards. When children are engaged, they’re motivated to learn.

As they progress, they rehearse a range of essential reading skills; matching letters to sounds, blending, segmenting, tricky words and reading full sentences.

Find out exactly what the game covers.

Will it work on my device?

The game runs on any normal laptop or desktop computer (including Apple Macs) and the app works on iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle tablets.

Who are The Usborne Foundation?

Peter Usborne is the founder and Managing Director of Usborne Publishing, one of the world’s leading children’s book publishing companies and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. He was previously one of the founders of the magazine Private Eye, and was recently awarded an MBE for services to publishing.

Testimonials

"I was stunned to see how much they enjoyed this. It blew me away."

Matt Lovegrove,
Cippenham Primary School

"The kids absolutely love this game - and they're learning!"

John Hole,
Wray Common Primary School

"This is a fun and engaging way to help your child learn to read. My son warmed to the game quickly and didn't want to stop playing it!"

Sarah Fox,
mum to Leon aged 5

This is a fun and engaging way to help your child learn to read. My son warmed to the game quickly and didn't want to stop playing it!

Sarah Fox, mum to Leon aged 5

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