Damn those cute, furry animals!


At the end of the month I will be finishing research on one of the cutest projects I’ve ever worked on.

Disney Animal Friends is currently on sale in Italy and Germany, and there’s been quite a long lead-in, with me finishing the research six months before the publication actually makes it to the shelves. It’s been a lovely project to work on, though, and has gone some way to beating out that streak of cynicism that raises its head when I’m asked to find a cute baby seal photo with big eyes and perfect white fur (without a seal hunter in sight) or a baby elephant swishing its trunk in a waterhole (sanitised beyond belief without a patch of mud obscuring his sweet chubby cheeks).

I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Disney animation (love Toy Story, hate Mickey!), and wondered how it would work having a pre-school title about wildlife based on Disney characters, but actually the research has been a bit of a light relief after some of the more grown-up wildlife publications I’ve worked on.

So after a month or so of researching and making sure there was no dead and bloody prey in the lion article and no poop on the ground of the baby deer spread, I think something must have shifted in my soul. Because I found I was more often thinking ‘Aaawww!’ and ‘Want one…’ rather than the usual ‘Kill me now!’.  And having only just tolerated my friends’ animal portraits on facebook with a hint of sneery lip, I must admit to having now posted one of my own!


Meet Norman, he’s our foster rabbit. He was a rescue rabbit saved by my son’s girlfriend and her flatmates, but they needed a new home for him when they moved to their new flat. So our son took him in with a view to moving him and his hutch to Brighton…. So it was only ever meant to be a temporary stay. But he’s been here six months now, and since it appears that our son can’t muck out the hutch without vomiting, we feel that perhaps we should file for sole custody – at least until our son can sort himself out and grow a proper pair of balls.

So thanks Disney! Having held out for 22 years of children demanding a dog, a rabbit, a gerbil, a hamster, a rabbit, two hamsters and goldfish, a dog, a dog, a puppy… We finally cracked! And guess what – he actually does stamp his foot like Thumper!