Geronimo Stilton, Emily Orr's favourite book character, and his sister Thea would probably approve of the cheese content of Emily's cheese and ham pizza.

Emily (8) received the pizza as a reward for completing her "pizza wheel" by reading a set number of books and telling the team at Stratford Library all about them.

Emily's brother Samuel (6) says he has recently enjoyed reading The Lion Sleeps Tonight and also likes books about Hairy Maclary. He chose a cheese and bacon pizza for his reward, provided by Hell Pizza, sponsors of this year's Lianza Children's book awards.

Hell's sponsorship of the awards included distributing 100,000 8-Book Pizza Wheels to schools and libraries nationwide. Children needed to read eight books and have them recorded on their wheel to be rewarded with a healthy 333 Kids Pizza.


With no Hell Pizza branch in Stratford, the Hell Pizza caravan came to town on Tuesday to reward young readers like Emily and Samuel with lunch.

A queue of hungry bookworms formed as soon as the Hell Pizza team opened the hatches of the caravan and the staff were soon making pizza as fast as they could to keep up with demand.

Samuel and Emily were both happy with their reading reward, with Emily saying "pizza is one of my favourites".

"We've been absolutely blown away by the response, every day we're sending out thousands more pizza discs and hearing terrific stories about kids discovering the love of reading," says Lianza relationship manager Wendy Walker of the promotion.

Hell general manager Ben Cumming says "the Caravan Tour is a great opportunity to promote children's literacy and give kids in smaller NZ towns a chance to claim their free pizza".

For Emily and Samuel, the promotion has certainly given them both an appetite for reading.