A dog named Badger is set to entertain and educate thousands of young children next year visiting events held up and down the UK, subtly addressing issues such as bullying and friendship.
The initiative, which was launched by children's book authors Lyn McNicol and Laura Cameron Jackson in 2011, focuses on the adventures of Badger the Mystical Mutt and reaches out to children aged 5-9 years old.
The canine-inspired series has so far sold over 30,000 copies, has even been on the British Consulate in New York's list of reasons why Britain is great (alongside Andy Murray and Downton Abbey's Mr Bates!).
In between writing books, the authors have toured over 1000 schools, libraries, book festivals, bookshops and encouraged reluctant readers to read because they have met Badger live and 'in the fur' and with lots on the horizon, including a potential TV series, Badger has received a boost in support this year from Scotland's Land of Holistic Pets who have sponsored Badger's branded bookmarks, which will be given away free at the mystical mutt's events.
Speaking about the bookmark initiative, McNicol said: "We want to offer children something to take away after they've experienced a Badger session (We encountered Badger-mania, the Head Teacher's words, not ours, last week when 320 children started chanting Badger's name. The HT sent for reinforcements to ring-fence the audience and protect Badger from a surge of fans)."
And it's not just for the children as she explained, "The bookmark also joins it up for parents, when the children return home excitedly talking about Badger, they can see from the bookmark that Badger is a book series, where to go to find out more."
Badger co-author and illustrator Laura Jackson continued, "We are delighted to be partnered with Land of Holistic Pets and to enable every child, whether they purchase one of our books or not, to get a free Badger gift, after meeting him live ‘in the fur’ at an event. As soon as I spotted Spirulina as one of the ingredients in the Luath range, which I take myself, I knew we were on the same page in terms of healthy pet nutrition. I didn’t know that Robert Burns’ dog was called Luath, so it really does feel like Rabbie’s’ ‘Twa Dogs’ have met up again."
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