As we at ODI head into the first days of 2019, we reflect on what we had to be thankful for in the past year. One project that springs immediately to mind is Edward Bernard’s children’s series. We are happy to feature the second of his books, It Never Rains in the Magic Wood, as a delightful successor to The Elephant and the Angry Farmer. It is a story of magic and mystery filled to the brim with flying wellingtons, magic talking fish and a magical wood which remains eternally sunny. As this series is based on stories Edward told his eleven grandchildren as they grew up, it is only fitting that this book depicts them as actual characters in the story. Bringing the grandchildren so joyfully to life would not have been possible without the talent of artist Jan Lewis.
Like its predecessor, all the proceeds of It Never Rains in the Magic Wood went to charity. However, on this occasion and thanks to the sponsorship of 2BScientific, there were two purchasable versions of the book. The proceeds were split between the Oxford Children’s Hospital and the Oxford Playhouse.
The Oxford Playhouse is a registered charity and brings great theatre to over 150,000 audiences every year, reaching over 20,000 people through their outreach work and the theatre’s Learning Team. The team here at ODI are very happy that sales of ‘It Never Rains in the Magic Wood’ could go towards nurturing local talent and providing opportunities for young people.
Profit from It Never Rains in the Magic Wood also went to the Oxford Children’s Hospital Charity. The money raised from the purchase of this book and its predecessor go towards anything from toys and games for the playrooms to funding cutting-edge VR headsets to make school accessible to children in hospital. On Thursday 6th of December, a member of our team was invited to a special Christmas Concert in aid of the Oxford Children’s Hospital. The choir of Winchester Cathedral filled the University Church, Oxford with wonderful music and rallied guests in an evening of carols and readings to raise money. Patricia Hodge, Alexander Armstrong and Nisha Katona were among the guest readers who came to participate in an evening of music for a fantastic cause.
The Christmas concert series has raised over £350,000 for young patients. This Christmas concert raised over £35,000 for the Future Fertility Programme; a multidisciplinary collaboration that is the first of its kind to provide free specialist support for young adult cancer patients at risk of infertility.
Available on the night were copies of both The Elephant and the Angry Farmer and It Never Rains in the Magic Wood along with themed bookmarks. We are proud and pleased to have worked on these two books and happy to have worked with Edward Bernard to contribute towards the charity’s efforts to transform care across the Oxford Children’s Hospital.
We encourage anyone fond of adventure to purchase and read both books in Edward’s children’s series. It Never Rains in a Magic Wood combines nostalgia for the fearlessness and freedom of childhood with imaginative story-telling, endearing artwork and just a dash
The end product is one that would make a great present for children and adults alike and the proceeds go to two great charities that both work to nurture children’s learning and improve their experiences and outlook. We look forward to working with both Edward, and other children’s authors, in the New Year and can’t wait to see what stories we will help to tell.