Meeting the ferrets at Wood Green

A guest blog by Jackie Buckleauthor of Half My Facebook Friends Are Ferrets.

Although a ferret features prominently in my book, I had yet to meet one in the fur so I was excited to be heading off to Wood Green, The Animals Charity near Cambridge for a ferrety photofest. Of course ferrets do have a certain reputation for biting and as we approached the shelter I conjured up an unwelcome image of a TV presenter from my youth screwing up his face in agony as his hand is prised from a ferret’s locked jaws. Hopefully the Wood Green ferrets would be better behaved.

Jackie Buckle visits Wood Green Animal Shelter

Jackie (right) and Marie (left), plus Albie and Frank

I was greeted by Katja who is Wood Green’s Business Development Officer, by Tara from PR and by Marie who is an expert in field and small animals. Marie introduced me to two different ferrets: Albie (pure white), and Frank (yellowy-brown). Both were very cute, in a lively, slinky, fast and furry kind of way! Like dogs, ferrets enjoy going for walks, so we harnessed them up and went to take the pictures. I must say Albie and Frank were very obliging throughout the rather windswept photoshoot and didn’t bite once!

Albie and Half My Facebook Friends Are Ferrets

After photos it was time for a tour. The shelter is one of the largest in Europe, covering 52 acres, and providing a home for pigs, ducks, goats and alpacas, as well as the more usual rabbits, cats and dogs. In addition to rescue, Wood Green also do lots of work educating the public on animal welfare, including showcasing how animals should be kept. Rabbits, for example, need much larger enclosures than most people are aware of. In fact, according to Katja, rabbits are probably the most abused of all British pets due to poor housing and neglect.

At the dog enclosure, it was time to get a few lumps in the throat, as the dogs came rushing up to the bars wagging their tails. Dogs are so desperate for human contact that it’s especially heartbreaking to see them in kennels. Wood Green have just opened new state-of-the art enclosures to house the dogs, though, which will be a lot more homely.

Katja then had to go for a meeting so we didn’t have time to see the cats. In hindsight this was probably a good thing as I have an especially soft spot for kitties. It meant I was able to leave with my dignity and mascara largely intact!

wood_green_animal_shelter_logo

We will be making a donation to Wood Green for every copy of Half My Facebook Friends Are Ferrets that’s sold. I am so pleased to be helping this excellent charity, even in a small way. They really are a worthwhile cause and the staff are so committed to making things better for animals. You can find out more about them and the great work they do at www.woodgreen.org.uk

Curious Fox is the new home of Scooby Doo!

As announced in The Bookseller today, we are really delighted to announce that we have signed a new licensing deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products UK.

Curious Fox Bookseller announcement

This means that for the next three years we’ll be publishing new books for DC Comics Justice League, Looney Tunes and top dog Scooby-Doo. The first titles will launch in May 2014, and we have plans to publish at least 30 books in the first year for children aged 5 to 12 years old.

Batman 3 Stories in 1

Key products will include 3-in-1 fiction box sets for the Justice League Super Heroes Batman and Superman (June 2014), illustrated colour non-fiction titles Batmobiles and Batcycles and The Engineering Behind Batman’s Vehicles (July 2014) and hardback gift books like the Looney Tunes and Scooby-Doo Treasuries (Summer 2014).

Scooby Doo

Miles, who’s in charge here at Curious Fox, explains, “When we launched Curious Fox in spring last year we had a very clear goal – to publish brilliant books that would spark curiosity in young minds. In a short time we’ve immersed our readers in new worlds, introduced them to new characters and engaged them in some amazing stories.  The acquisition of the rights to publish books featuring some of the world’s most iconic brands and characters is hugely exciting and is integral to helping us achieve our ambition of inspiring a life long love of books amongst children.”

The UK deal is an extension of an existing and highly successful relationship between our parent company, Capstone, and Warner Bros. Consumer Products in the US.  Paul Bufton, General Manager for Warner Bros. Consumer Products UK, said, “Publishing is the cornerstone of any successful licensing campaign, with books often being a child’s first experience of a brand.  Quality books such as those created by Curious Fox add credibility and aids parental favour with our brands.  We’re thrilled to have them on board and we’re looking forward to working with them to put our stamp on the UK children’s book market.”

Stay tuned to curious-fox.com for more details.