Melody’s Wildlife Haven – by Marion Veal: healing power of nature

Melody is 10 years old and struggling with the loss of her mother, having to start a new school, and moving to a new home. Melody loves wildlife and wants to be an ethologist, but their new garden is empty. Then one day a fox says ‘Hello’ and life for Melody will never be the same again as she and her dad turn their garden into a wildlife haven.

Illustrated by SHANÉE BUXTON.

A story about caring for wildlife, grieving for someone you love, new beginnings, and the healing power of nature. Includes information on famous female ethologists like Jane Goodall, a quiz, wordsearch, and more. Also includes links on where to find information on wildlife, bereavement and grief counselling.


I’m a science teacher and wildlife enthusiast. I’ve always loved and cared for animals and I want to encourage children to do so too. I love to walk along the beach looking in rock pools or making homes for animals in my garden.

I have always written stories but it was belonging to Chris Packham’s Self Isolating Bird Club Facebook group and the arrival of a fox in my garden during lockdown that set me on the road to publishing my work. My husband had just died of cancer, we were locked down at home and a nursing vixen took refuge in my garden. I shared videos of her visits on Facebook and eventually wrote our story in Vix, my lockdown friend because we helped each other through a difficult time.

I have since become a volunteer at The Fox Project. Other books have followed. The children’s version of Vix, the Lockdown fox, Mew the Rescue cat ,about my cat and two books about Mopsy, a friend’s dog that had to have her eye removed due to glaucoma. I wrote the books to help all pet owners facing a similar struggle and we used a font designed for the Braille association to make it easier to read for anyone with visual impairment. And finally I wrote four books about animals in a rock pool to encourage children to learn more about marine life.

I share my home with two beautiful cats and my garden with a variety of wildlife including foxes, birds, and the local cats. I ran the petition to Save Autumnwatch and met the DG of the BBC but sadly we couldn’t save it. Find out more at

Know someone who would like to read this book? Share this page with them.