Cheerios®, which has been getting children’s books to families through its Spoonfuls of Stories program, is helping to launch a brand new children’s book by a brand new author – and this spring, families can be the first to get her book, free inside Cheerios cereal boxes. “The Great Dog Wash,” by Shellie Braeuner, was the winning entry in the first Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories® New Author Contest for new children’s book authors, earning Braeuner, a nanny from Nashville, a $5,000 cash prize from Cheerios and the opportunity to have her book reviewed by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Simon & Schuster offered Braeuner a book deal, and, over the past year, “The Great Dog Wash” came to life. Simon & Schuster will publish “The Great Dog Wash,” illustrated by Robert Neubecker, in hardcover this summer. A paperback version of Braeuner’s winning story, which Cheerios had specially printed in both English and Spanish, will be available free inside 1.5 million Cheerios boxes this spring.  “Having her book published may be a dream come true for Shellie, but it’s also exactly what we hoped for when we started the contest,” said Jeff Hingher, marketing manager for Cheerios. “There is no guarantee that the contest winner will have their book published – so the fact that Simon & Schuster felt her book had merit is a credit to Shellie’s concept and her writing. One of our primary goals with Spoonfuls of Stories is to encourage parents and children to enjoy reading together and to get great books into kids’ hands. We hope that families enjoy reading ‘The Great Dog Wash,’ – and we hope this storybook ending is just the beginning for Shellie as a newly published author.”  Cheerios has re-launched the New Author Contest to support new children’s book authors. The next contest is open for entries until July 15, 2009. Judging criteria and complete contest details can be found online at www.spoonfulsofstoriescontest.com.

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