On 20th October 2022, Zeb Soanes’ Gaspard’s Christmas was published. Zeb is a friend of St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity, and kindly gifted proceeds from the book to us, in perpetuity.

To celebrate the publication, we had a book launch at St Martin’s Hall where we were treated to music from St Martin’s Voices, a live drawing of Gaspard by illustrator James Mayhew, and a video of Zeb reading the book to pupils at St Clement-Danes Primary School.

Check out the press release below:

On Thursday 20th October, radio presenter and Author, Zeb Soanes, along with best-selling illustrator James Mayhew, will officially unveil the fourth instalment of their popular children’s book series, Gaspard the Fox, at an evening event hosted by St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity.

The latest instalment of the Gaspard the Fox book series, called Gaspard’s Christmas, looks to introduce children to the topic of homelessness – as well as themes of community and friendship. Royalties from the book will go to St Martin’s Charity in perpetuity, to support the organisation’s life-changing work with people experiencing homelessness and frontline workers.

The book will be officially unveiled at a festive launch event at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, on Thursday evening, with supporters of St Martin’s Charity in attendance.

Zeb has been working with celebrated composer Jonathan Dove CBE to reimagine Gaspard’s Christmas as a narrated orchestral concert work to introduce the topic of homelessness through classical music to children.

The event at St Martin-in-the-Fields will include an exclusive performance of their new carol, Christmas is Here, sung by the St Martin’s Voices, ahead of its official world-premiere on the 23rd December 2022 at Usher Hall, in Edinburgh, conducted by Stephen Doughty and performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Author, Zeb Soanes, said: “Gaspard is without a doubt London’s kindest fox, and I am so pleased to be bringing him back for a fourth, festive adventure.

“Having lived in London for many years, I am all too aware of the issue of homelessness, particularly in the cold winter months. Gaspard’s Christmas is a magical, heart-warming tale for children and adults alike, reminding us all of the importance of kindness, community and friendship.

“It is so important to me that proceeds from the sale of this book are going to St Martin’s Charity, helping to ensure more people have a place to call home, not only this Christmas but all year round.”

Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields said:We’re delighted to be hosting the launch of Gaspard’s Christmas at St Martin-in-the-Fields, including a very special performance of ‘Christmas is Here’ by Jonathan Dove CBE and Zeb Soanes, performed by the St Martin’s Voices.

Thanks to Zeb and James’ generosity, royalties from the sales of Gaspard’s Christmas will go to St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity in perpetuity, so that we can continue to offer funding for both individuals and organisations, to help people access suitable accommodation and keep it, right across the UK.”

Gaspard the Fox sprang from the imagination of broadcaster, Zeb Soanes, in 2017, when working as a BBC Radio 4 Newsreader, after a real-life fox turned up regularly on his doorstep in Islington, London. The handsome fox inspired a trio of children’s books – Gaspard the Fox, Gaspard Best In Show and Gaspard’s Foxtrot – which Zeb authored, and launched in collaboration with celebrated British illustrator, James Mayhew.

In Zeb and James’ fourth book instalment, Gaspard’s Christmas, Gaspard comes across an old man who is trying to keep warm while lying on the street with only an old coat around him. Immediately seeing that he needs help, Gaspard first snuggles up to the old man to give him warmth and then summons his friends Finty the dog and Peter the cat to get help. The clever animals quickly get their people involved and soon the old man is restored to health and safety inside a local church.

Gaspard, Finty and Peter all get a small reward, but their real reward is knowing that they have saved a life by their quick thinking and their kindness. The clear message about supporting those who are less fortunate is reinforced by donations from sales of the book going to St-Martins-in-the-Fields Charity.

Gaspard’s Christmas is available from all bookshops from Oct 20th, or to pre-order online now via Bookshop.org.”

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