The Fearless Fox & Daring Deer is a delightful new rhyming children’s picture book which has been written and beautifully illustrated to raise money for the NHS in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rainbow posters created by children have been seen in windows all over the country. This is their tribute to NHS workers, and The Fearless Fox & Daring Deer book aims to build on this. All of the proceeds from your donation will go to the NHS.
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"Follow the fearless adventures of the Fox and Deer as they take their friends down into the empty town, where the humans are locked indoors. As they sing a message of hope for a better future, they dare to imagine a world where humans and animals can live together in harmony.”
The story was inspired by news reports about animals all around the world, venturing into towns and cities during lockdown. Aimed at children aged between 3 and 11, but can be enjoyed by people of all ages, discover the adventures of all the woodland creatures as they play human games in the empty town. Here’s a taster of the story which gives a message of hope during times of crisis:
Everything was quiet in the town,
The humans were no longer around,
They’d caught an infection,
And had no protection,
And all the shops were closed down.
You can make all of the animal noises and dance moves with your children, and spot the different animals in the illustrations:
The animals came down in pairs,
Stoats and Rabbits from their lairs,
Ducks and Voles,
Weasels and Moles,
And Badgers and Beavers and Hares.
And sing the Rainbow song together...
“This is our rainbow song,
Which as one we’ll sing so strong,
Our message is clear,
Let’s not live in fear,
We’ve all been living so wrong!”
All proceeds from The Fearless Fox & Daring Deer will go towards creating one of the UK’s newest children’s hospitals, where services include world-renowned heart surgery, and an NHS Trust supported Arts in Mental Health charity. The Leicester Children’s Hospital Appeal and BrightSparks Arts in Mental Health will form a partnership to support the thousands of children and families around the UK who will receive care at the new state-of-the-art hospital, in collaboration with the book’s publisher WORD!, a poetry organisation uniquely co-produced by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.
Leicester Children’s Hospital Appeal aims to raise £7.5million to give the East Midlands its first dedicated, single-site children’s hospital and make children’s services more effective and efficient for patients, their families and hospital staff. The new hospital will offer all round care for children across the region and also the wider UK through their world-renowned heart service for children.
BrightSparks Arts in Mental Health CIO is supported by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust Arts in Mental Health Coordinators Tim Sayers and Lydia Towsey, who co-produce creative opportunities for adults living with severe and enduring mental illnesses. BrightSparks works in partnership with the University Hospitals of Leicester's Arts and Heritage team to share skills and opportunities, promoting art for mental and physical wellbeing.
WORD! is an 18-year-old voluntary poetry and spoken word organisation which is uniquely co-produced by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and currently enabled by Arts Council England funding. WORD! delivers one of the longest running spoken word nights in the UK, whilst pioneering an ever-expanding programme of activities across the East Midlands.
"This is such a gorgeous, accessible and inclusive piece of work, beautifully written and with the friendliest and most stunning illustrations. It's also really helpful - educationally as a home-schooling reading resource, but also from the perspective of supporting the mental health, wellbeing and resilience of young children. It offers parents, families and carers a way of explaining and making sense of a confusing and potentially very emotionally challenging time. We're keen to ensure as many children are able to access it as possible, with those from households on low incomes and perhaps otherwise struggling being able to access it for free, and others being able to directly benefit whilst supporting the ongoing mental health focused work of our NHS."
- Lydia Towsey, Arts in Mental Health Co-ordinator, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
“Lockdown gave me an opportunity to explore nearby woods, fields and nature trails with my two children, and that has been a really positive distraction. I love the fact that this book reminds us that we share our world with animals and that their view of it is uncomplicated by all the “stuff” humans get bogged down in. And that there’s room for all of us. “Stuff” just seems less important now. I think children can really relate to that idea of sharing the world with creatures who play with as much joy and abandon as they do.”
- Natalie Vernon, mum of two
“It’s a good book because I like animals and I like that they are sharing the land because that shows respect. It is one of our values at school, so I like to see the animals showing respect. It was a good story because the animals were making a tune for the humans and that is good sharing. Coronavirus makes me sad but the animals made it not sad because they made the humans happy with their tune. I want to thank the man who wrote it because he is showing we shouldn’t be scared of coronavirus.”
- Sonny (6 years old)
“It’s excellent. I think that it’s about not going to war with animals, psychically or mentally, and respecting animals and humans alike. It’s a good story with a good rhythm which gets in your head. I think younger kids will get a different aspect on how animals stay strong, and so should we. That’s really inspiring for them.”
- Emile (11 year old)
“I like the Deer the best, and all the animals playing on the slides and swings in the empty school playground.”
- Mia (3 year old)
"I loved it. My favourite bit was the singing part, because I liked the rainbow and that the animals were singing and dancing together.”
Frankie (6 years old)
"I liked all of the animals sitting on the rainbow and singing. I liked the boy giving the fox the rainbow scarf, and all of the rainbows, and I loved all of the animals singing the song - and I loved one more animal, and it's the rabbit, and the frog, and the beaver, and the duck sitting on the truck, and the badger, and the goat. My favourite animal was the deer - and the fox."
- Ruby Rose (4 years old)
All of the proceeds from your donation will go to the NHS, and you will receive a beautiful 24 page book to read.
We will email you a link straight away to download your e-book, or donate to buy a printed copy here.
Joe Nixon is the Founder and Creative Director of Leicester and London based advertising agency Arch Creative.
In April 2020, Joe was ill with Covid-19 and when he was in bed he read one of the first articles about urban animals taking to the empty streets - Mountain Goats in Llandudno and Foxes and Deer on the streets of London during the daytime. Joe was inspired to write a story for his young niece and nephews, who were finding it difficult to understand why they were trapped at home during lockdown. The book has entertained them and given them hope for a better world when the crisis is over.
Ami-Lou Harrison is a Nottingham based Illustrator and Designer. Joe is friends with Ami and has worked with her on previous projects, so he contacted Ami to help bring his story to life.
Ami’s beautifully joyful illustrations perfectly capture the uplifting message of positivity. From Beavers and Badgers to Rabbits and Hares, Ami has illustrated a wide range of woodland creatures who mischievously play together in the empty streets and school playground.
You can see more of Ami’s lovely work here:
“This is a delightful children’s story with fabulous illustrations, highlighting the unprecedented times we are living through. It has been such a confusing time for our children and as a mother of two young children and an early years teacher this book was a fantastic resource.
The beautiful illustrations and story captured their imagination and helped them to make sense of the world we are living in today. After reading the story the children were able to recognise and talk about the importance of sharing our world with all the animals and caring for one another. The children loved singing along to the song! I’ve read it over and over again at home with my own children. It is a stunning children’s book and well worth a read.
The activity pack is filled with fun facts about animals and some great advice about hand washing and art and craft activities!”
- Rachael Illidge, Early Years Teacher at Humberstone
"Who doesn’t love a rhyming book? This wonderful story full of rhythm and rhyme is such a clever way to teach children about what is happening in the world and to reassure them that good things are to come.
As a parent and teacher I know children will delight in the glorious illustrations used to accompany this story of hope."
- Anupa Roper, Teacher at Greenfield Primary School
"This book is a wonderful amalgamation of beautifully thought out text and colourful appealing artwork. The title gives the idea that the animals are going to undertake actions which are not the norm and this causes the reader and listener to be curious and keen to find out just what it is that they are going to be doing. The rhyming of the text lends itself to the telling of the events, but still allows for poignancy in the telling, which the children I read it to really seemed to empathise with as the details of the ‘new’ town life were explained.
The perceived fear the animals had of the humans made us all consider our own views. The humans vowing to do what they could in the future to make a better world where every living creature is valued in order that the world can live in harmony was a valuable message not only to children but to the whole of humanity. The fact that the children listened so intently and enjoyed the discussion we had about nature and the animal kingdom afterwards showed me how relevant and pertinent this story is not only in the current circumstances but for all time."
- Susan Gutteridge, Teacher at Granby School.
Long after the lockdown is over, the book acts as a reminder of when times were different, the environment started to repair itself and families grew closer. The story is an important educational tool and we’ve also created a free educational activity pack for home schooling and schools to use.
The book is dedicated to all of the NHS staff, carers and frontline workers, and all of those who have lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you would like to get involved with the Fearless Fox & Daring Deer adventure, we'd love to hear from you! Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org