Lying in bed with the COVID-19 virus, Leicester author Joe Nixon felt inspired by a news story on wild animals venturing into towns and cities during the pandemic lockdown. Now The Fearless Fox & Daring Deer will be venturing into homes nationally to raise funds for the NHS. 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 Appealand 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.

The Fearless Fox & Daring Deer is published by WORD!, a poetry organisation uniquely co-produced by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. Illustrated by Nottingham-based Ami-Lou Harrison, the rhyming picture book invites children to enjoy the adventures of woodland creatures as they play human games in an empty town.

Rainbow posters created by children have been seen in windows all over the country in tribute to NHS workers. The Fearless Fox & Daring Deer features a rainbow inspired song and a rainbow coloured scarf offered by a small boy to a wild fox. Joe Nixon hopes the message is one of hope during times of crisis:

“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,” says Joe from his Leicester home, where he has now fully recovered from the virus. “I was inspired to write a story for my young niece and nephews, who were finding it difficult to understand why they’ve been trapped at home during lockdown. The book has entertained them and given them hope for a better world when the crisis is over.”

The book is dedicated to NHS staff, carers and frontline workers, and all of those who have lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. www.fearlessfox.co.uk

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