Joe Wicks announces details of first children’s book

Fitness coach Joe Wicks is to publish his first children’s book.

The Burpee Bears was written in partnership with Vivian French, the author of more than 300 books, and will arrive in September in hardback.

Artist Paul Howard will illustrate the story, which will “bring a little bit of Wicks magic and a whole lot of Joe energy to each and every page”.

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Each book in the series will also begin and end with an illustrated warm-up and wind-down exercise routine.

A burpee is a full body exercise used in strength training that features a squat thrust and an additional stand between reps.

During the lockdown in 2020, Wicks, 34, started his PE With Joe lessons on YouTube to help children stay active while at home, breaking a Guinness World Record after one of his classes was watched live by 955,000 people on the site.

Through daily workouts he also raised more than £550,000 for the NHS and was subsequently made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

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French, the author of books including Oliver’s Vegetables and The Tiara Club series, is co-founder of the Picture Hooks scheme to help emerging art graduates find their feet in the book illustration industry.

Illustrator Howard has worked on books including The Bravest Ever Bear, written by Allan Ahlberg, and is a winner of the Blue Peter Book Award.

The Burpee Bears by Joe Wicks is published on September 30 on HarperCollins Children’s Books.