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Cheerios and children's books

March 16, 2010 |  8:19 am

Families buying boxes of Cheerios will find a prize inside -- not a plastic whirligig or sticker set, but a brand-new children's book.

More than 2 million copies of "1 Zany Zoo," published by Simon & Schuster, will be found in boxes nationwide. The book is by first-time author Lori Degman, a Chicago mother who won the 2008 Cheerios New Author Contest. The company has just announced the winner of its 2009 contest -- Laurie Isop's "How Do You Hug a Porcupine?" -- which will appear in cereal boxes next year.

The cereal company has opened up the contest again. Unpublished authors can enter their children's book using an online form; the deadline is July 15. Winners get $5,000 -- and, in 2012, wide, breakfast-time distribution.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Bowl of Cheerios. Credit: yaybiscuit123 via Flickr./