Monday, 10 February 2014

Red Pandas

Let me start off by saying a BIG HELLO to everyone at New Longton All Saints C.E. Primary School... I can't wait to meet you all. And also a Big Hello to Jasper - our Red Panda who we visited last week.
Since before Christmas, I've been busy working on a series of non-fiction books for one of my publishers - Franklin Watts (and lovely people they are too). I've written the first three books and am a good way through book four. I'm also busy researching the next four books which will be about Tim Berners-LeeWilliam Caxton, and the artists L.S. Lowry and Pieter Bruegel. I'm really enjoying writing the stories and it's fantastic seeing them being brought to life by the wonderful artwork. Right now I'm waiting to see the final colour artwork for Christopher Columbus and the rough artwork for Neil Armstrong. So far they are looking great.

As well as writing it's important to get out and about every now and then to see things in the real world... a good way of getting ideas for new books. Last week Vicky and I went to visit Chester Zoo to see Jasper, the red panda that I adopted for her last birthday. I'm sure that nobody else calls him Jasper but we thought it was a good name for a red panda, so that's what we decided to name him. Of course, when you adopt an animal at the zoo you can't actually bring them home with you  (probably a good job really as I'm sure that Polly, our cat, wouldn't be too happy) but you do get a nice adoption pack through the post and your name on a plaque by the animal's area.
We wanted to go back to the zoo on a nice, quiet day so we would have lots of time to spend looking at the animals - and especially the red pandas - without crowds of other people around. Apart from it being f-f-f-freezing, it was a perfect day. When we arrived at the Red Panda area, they were all curled up in the branches of the trees snoozing but when we came back round later, they were wide awake and wandering around as you can see in the picture above.

As well as seeing the red pandas wandering around, we also managed to catch the Two-Toed Sloth, also wide awake for a change...
It's good to be able to spend time looking at some of the more unusual birds and animals too, instead of spending all the time peering at the lions, tigers and elephants. The Pelicans were enjoying a good wash as you can see here - and at the bottom of the page you can see a picture of an African Grey Crowned Crane...
This crane shared an area with the pelicans and a few other birds. They have quite a large area to walk around in but as we walked around the outside, this crane followed us all the way. We couldn't make up our mind whether it liked us or wanted to chase us.