The Secret Animal Society series of early reader children’s novels, are published by Piccadilly press and written by Ruth Symes. I have created the images with charcoal, erasers, charcoal dust and cotton wool. They are good examples of my black and white work. Much quicker than my full colour work and often renders me looking like a coal miner, which is a bit embarassing when I forget to check my face before going out!
The series begins with Cornflake the Dragon. When twins Eddie and Izzy take their school pet lizard home for the holidays they really do get a surprise. They name him after his favourite food, but when Cornflake grows two bumps on his back and they gradually turn into wings – It turns out he is really a dragon! Then a man appears and starts asking awkward questions. How do they keep Cornflake safe?
Followed by Spike the Sea Serpent. The Secret Animal Society protects rare animals that people do not know exist and is located in a valley close to the sea. There they protect rare and undiscovered animals. When Eddie and Izzie’s family move there, it’s not long till there is a sighting of a mysterious creature out at sea. The media go into a frenzy that it is some kind of sea monster. It turns out to be Spike with his sick baby and he is hoping for help from the Secret Animal Society.
The third in the series is Snowball the Baby Bigfoot. It’s winter and shortly before the Christmas school break two yetis wake the family saying their baby Bigfoot ‘Snowball’ has gone missing. It is a race to find him, before he is discovered by the wrong people. For his own safety and the existence of the Secret Animal Society and their charges, hangs in the balance.