Dream Days at our beloved Zoo thanks to you, Amy and Tom

November 25, 2020

Keepers Amy Ridgway and Tom Wootton from the Welsh Mountain Zoo – National Zoo of Wales, have written, and published their own children’s book, ‘A Dream Day at the Zoo’.

Born out of a desire to support the Zoo in the face of escalating financial pressures during the pandemic, the majority of proceeds will be donated to the Conwy-based charity.

The story focuses on a young girl named Alice, a keen animal lover whose favourite place to visit is the Zoo.

On a seemingly normal visit, Alice begins to daydream, and her adventure begins as she’s called to help keepers trace an escaped animal by following the clues and trying to work out what species the animal is.

Tom explained: “During the first lockdown the Zoo was really struggling. We didn’t know how long it was going to last or even how long we would be able to keep going. We were incredibly grateful for the community coming together and helping the Zoo through donations, adoptions and many other means.

"Amy remembered a book from when she was a little girl which her grandparents had bought her. The book revolved around Amy in a Zoo setting and she loved it! We wanted to give something back and so the idea to write this story was born.”

Entwined with a wonderful and enchanting story are plenty of child-friendly facts allowing readers to learn something new about the animals that live at the Zoo.

Tom continued: “We wrote the book and drafted basic illustrations, almost like a story-board to pitch the book to our directors. These illustrations were then sent over to Catherine Jackman and she elevated them beautifully. The response so far has been amazing – the first batch has sold out and we're already on our second reprint.”

The book is on sale at the Zoo shop at a £6 or £10 with a cute chimp soft toy. Alternatively call the Zoo directly on 01492532938 and you will be directed to the shop who will help place an order.

Tom concluded: “90% of the profits from the sale of this book will go directly to the Zoo. The other 10% is going to a charity close to our hearts - The Vulture Conservation Foundation.

"This charity supports the captive breeding and release of vultures into Europe, reintroducing them to areas that they are no longer found as well as bolstering already established populations. The bearded vulture that recently graced British skies was the offspring of birds that had been released into the French alps.

"Both the National Zoological Society of Wales and the VCF are both well-deserving charities that we are happy to be supporting.”