AN author and illustrator who grew up in a North-East safari park has launched a second book of rhymes for children.

Andréa Prior spent her formative years in Lambton Lion Park, near Chester-le-Street, where as a child she worked as a park ranger in Pet’s Corner, looking after llamas, goats, monkeys, pot-bellied pigs and a lion cub.

Her love of animals, passion for illustration and writing children’s verse inspired her to write her books of rhyming poems.

Following on from the success of her debut A Parcel of Pigs, her second book, A Piddle of Puppies and Other Funny Animal Rhymes, is described as a “charming collection of animal rhymes aimed at delighting children’s imaginations”.

In a world of social media and video games, many parents know that getting children to read is a challenge, but Andréa Prior’s books, aimed at five to nine-year-olds, are full of rhyme, rhythm and wordplay and are proving to be a big hit with parents and children alike.

She said: “Rhymes are a perfect way to help children with spelling, pronunciation and memory, while at the same time having fun with language using word patterns and rhythm to help with overall reading development.

“My rhymes are written for those parents and children that love reading together. Questions and fascinating facts in her books ensure that children are engaged throughout.”

Accompanied by hilarious illustrations by the author, the rhymes take children through the weird and wonderful world of unusual animal collective nouns. With lots of amazing animal facts, the book promises an educational benefit too.

Andréa has spoken to thousands of children in schools across the UK with her first book A Parcel of Pigs, where children have enjoyed the reading sessions and were delighted to get their signed books at the end of the day.

As well as reading her rhymes, Andréa talks to the children about what an illustrator and author does and shares with them her original character sketches which they can easily really relate to.

In 2019 she will be starting author visits to schools with her new book.

With a degree in illustration, she spent her early career working as an illustrator and artists agent in children’s publishing before pursuing a rewarding career in the branding and design industry at managing director level. Now she is fully dedicated to her life long passion of writing and illustrating books for children.

Her books A Piddle of Puppies and A Parcel of Pigs are available from Amazon and Waterstones, priced £8.99.