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.

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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 marionveal.com

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