(From left Kerry McGlynn with her daughter Evie, mum Virginia Lowery and her son Jack)
Nestlé Smarties have long been associated with their colourful shells and innovative packaging, but for one Wallsend mother, the chocolate treat has a special place in her heart.
On her second birthday, Kerry McGlynn was given her very own personalised book called Me on the Smarties Safari, which soon became her favourite read.
Kerry remembers: “I received the Smarties book from my parents for my second birthday. My mum bought it due to a Smarties promotion at the time and because I used to play with Smarties. I would line them up in order of colour and use the tube as an elephant trunk.”
The book dates back to 1980 and tells the story of Kerry’s dream of Smarties land, a magical place where animals are covered with Smarties spots, with Smarties tubes for their trunks and horns.
Kerry is the hero of the hour who saves the animals from the dreaded Smarties rustlers. In return, the animals honour Kerry by naming her birthday as Smarties Day.
Kerry’s enjoyment of the book was prominent throughout her childhood and the personalised element of the story inspired her to buy special gifts for her children Evie, 7 and Jack, 4.
She says: “It was definitely a favourite book of mine and I remember being read it often, I also remember taking it into school to show teachers and friends as I thought it was so special. This fond memory also led me to buy my two children personalised books hoping that they would like to read about themselves in an adventure.”
As Kerry got older, the treasured book was read less often, however it was recently unearthed by her mum and Kerry was reunited with her favourite childhood book on her 38th birthday.
She adds: “It was put away in the loft by my parents when I outgrew the book. My mum has been clearing out the loft recently and she came across the book. She wrapped it up and gave it to me as a present for my birthday. I was absolutely overjoyed to see the book again and couldn’t wait to read it to Evie and Jack.”
When Kerry began reading the book to her children, it was like no time had passed at all and says she could remember the plot so clearly and that her son and daughter were “fascinated by it”.
After being reunited with the book, Kerry contacted Nestlé, the manufacturers of Smarties to celebrate Smarties Day.
Kerry says: “I thought it was funny to have received the book after so many years, I wondered if many other people received these books.”
She adds: “I don’t have any other personalised books and I will treasure this one forever.”