Gruffalo illustrator's red squirrel book launch at Kielder
AWARD-WINNING Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler has drawn up plans to help the North East’s under-siege red squirrels.
Axel illustrated the children’s book The Gruffalo – by writer and playwright Julia Donaldson – which has sold millions of copies around the world.
Now he is to come to Kielder Forest in Northumberland to launch his latest book, How to Keep a Pet Squirrel, with 10p from ever copy printed donated to the Save Squirrels (SoS) conservation project at the Northumberland Wildlife Trust.
Axel, who has a keen interest in the struggle of the red squirrel in the face of its advancing grey rival, opted for Kielder because the forest is home to 60% of England’s remaining reds.
The event on October 2 is a week before the book’s official launch, which means people will be able to buy an advance copy signed by Axel at Kielder Castle from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
He will also open the new SoS squirrel viewing hide near the castle, accompanied by children from Kielder and Greenhaugh First Schools who were involved in its design.
From 3pm to 4pm he will be at Fenwick in Northumberland Street, Newcastle, where he will be reading from his new book on the store’s third floor where people can buy signed copies and meet members of the SoS team.
The idea for the book came as Axel dipped into The Children’s Encyclopaedia of 1910, which he had bought in a jumble sale, and came across a guide to procuring and caring for a pet squirrel.