Archives for posts with tag: adopt a pet

The other day I got a fantastic message from a lady who signed her letter, “Jacob O’Reilly’s Nana.” You can imagine how pleased I was to learn that there is a REAL Jacob O’Reilly out there who loves my book!

Thanks, Jacob O’Reilly’s Nana!

Jacob O’Reilly Wants a Pet is all about a little boy who is desperate for a pet of his own – just any pet at all. He asks his parents for one thing after another but they are not very keen on the idea. They think Jacob should try looking after animals before he gets his own pet. When he discovers what hard work it is, he might have second thoughts…

Here is Jacob with his giant list of possible pets. Some of his suggestions are pretty wacky! Would you like a dragon for a pet? Or an ant nest? Hmmm…

Jacob agrees to his parents’ idea of looking after other people’s pets, and puts a big sign outside his house: “Pet Sitter Jake at your service.” Soon his house is swamped with dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits, sheep, a horse, a zebra and a rather big snake called Morris! He has a tough time feeding, cleaning and exercising them all, and after two weeks he is very glad when the owners all come back to collect them.

I love the illustrations by Lee Wildish which are so colourful and fun! He’s come up with all sorts of great pets for the endpapers, too. Here you can see a turtle, a little yellow dog, some dancing frogs, a rabbit, and my personal favourite, a mouse in a cheesy racing car!

I thought the real Jacob O’Reilly (and my other readers) might like to try some of the fun activities I have put together to go with this book. If you click on the images below you should be able to print them out at home.

© Lynne Rickards 2010

© Lynne Rickards 2010

© Lynne Rickards 2010

I think the real Jacob O’Reilly may need a bit of help from his Nana to do some of these activities, since he is not quite three. Maybe his big brother Sammy can help too. Have fun!


Friday April 20th is a special day for me. It is the first birthday of my Blog for Kids! I have had a lot of fun writing about things I care about over the past year, and it’s been great to get responses from you, too! The little cat above is a drawing Anna did for her 10th birthday party, so I thought it was a good way to start this post.

To celebrate my blog’s birthday I have decided to write some GOOD NEWS stories. For example, I always get a special thrill each spring when the giant cherry tree outside my house comes out in beautiful pink blossom. This is the view from my window at the moment, and it never fails to cheer me up, even on a rainy day!

Speaking of pink things, I have amazing news that on April 11th, over 8 MILLION people around the world dressed in pink to show that they were standing up against bullying. Isn’t that fantastic? If you want to see some of those people in action, check out the City News Day of Pink video HERE. It’s great to see so many young people working together for a good cause and having fun at the same time. In one highschool in Toronto they even made special pink food in the cafeteria!

Here is another wonderful reason to celebrate. His name is Alfie and he is a rescue dog recently adopted by a friend of mine. Isn’t he gorgeous? He has only just arrived in his new home, so I hope he settles in well and becomes a special member of the family. I love dogs so I hope one day I’ll get to meet him!

The month of April marks another first birthday – that of the Guardian Children’s Books Website. This is a brilliant site full of book reviews, video interviews with authors, quizzes, the latest children’s book news and even drawing tips! You can sign up and join in the action, writing book reviews yourself and getting involved in discussions. To find out more about the site and how to join, click HERE.

In some parts of the world, people live in such isolated and hard-to-reach places that they can’t enjoy the simple things we take for granted – like books. I recently discovered (from @shedworking on Twitter) that in Venezuela there is a clever new way to bring books to children in remote mountain villages. Book mules!

These animals are very tough and can be used to carry heavy loads along treacherous mountain paths where a four-wheeled vehicle couldn’t go. When the book mule arrives in a village, the children all cry “Bibliomulas!” and race to find something to read. In a place where there are no libraries or bookshops, you can imagine how exciting it would be to see the mule coming!

In some of these places there is starting to be some mobile phone reception, so the mules can carry laptops to give the villagers access to the internet. Cyber mules! This story was reported on a BBC Radio 4 programme called From Our Own Correspondent, and you can read a big article about it HERE. I think it’s brilliant!

My daughter and I love dogs, and although we are a bit busy to actually own one, we have found a great way of borrowing them now and again! All across the UK (and in many other countries) there are rescue centres for greyhounds that once were racing dogs. We think greyhounds are lovely, elegant animals, and despite their size they are very gentle and affectionate.

The nearest greyhound rescue centre for us is the Greyhound Awareness League, or GAL. Every month they get together for a greyhound walk in a big park, and anyone can come along to join in. There are lots of dogs because many owners have three or four! They also bring all the greyhounds who are looking for homes, so there are always extra dogs if you want to take one for a walk.

Many people think greyhounds need tons of exercise and are always on the move. In fact, they like nothing better than to stretch out upside-down on a comfy sofa and sleep all day! When they are racing, they run super-fast for a few minutes, but then they rest for several days before the next race. They are kept in kennels with hard floors between races, and rarely get a friendly pat or kind word from their owners.

Once racing greyhounds reach the age of four, they become too old to race, and this is why there are so many needing homes. The ones in rescue centres are lucky, as many more are just abandoned or killed.

At the moment there are six greyhounds waiting for homes at GAL, and so many more all across the country. This is Zola, who is four years old and full of life. If you want to find out more, just click on his name.

Boyd is a male greyhound who is very easy-going. His tail is always wagging! Click on his name to find out more about him.

Zak is a handsome blue boy with a white blaze on his chest. He is five years old and a little bit shy. Doesn’t his fur look silky and soft? Click on his name to find out more about him.

There is lots of information about greyhounds on the internet. It’s very important to find out as much as you can about them if you are interested in fostering or adopting one.

If you live in the UK or Europe, here is a good source of information: Greyhound Rescue Groups in the UK.

If you live in the US or Canada, there are lots of greyhound rescue centres there too. Here is an Adopt-a-Greyhound site that will tell you all about greyhounds and the nearest rescue centre where you can see some. If like us you can’t adopt a dog, you can still join in with walks and give support in other ways!