The Gruffalo is going on safari this summer in aid of Stirling based charity Artlink Central. Families are being offered the chance to get up close to the world’s favourite furry monster at Blair Drummond Safari Park on Saturday 19 August.

The much-loved beast will be joined by his creator Julia Donaldson as she gives a special live ‘wild’ performance of her works, including a sneak world preview of her not yet released safari-inspired picture book The Ugly Five.

Director of Artlink Central Kevin Harrison said: “Julia and her family will be acting out her stories and singing her songs in this hour long show for children, Julia Donaldson’s Story Safari. The audience will be the first to hear from Julia’s new book with illustrator Axel Scheffler, which is inspired by Julia’s own safari experience in South Africa where she saw the ‘big five’ animals – lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalos. However, Julia was more interested in ‘the ugly five’ –  the wildebeest, warthog, hyena, lappet-faced vulture and marabou stork – and wrote a story about these animals ‘reclaiming’ their uniqueness. The book is a celebration of animals who are often rather unloved. Tickets for the performance include entrance to the park, making it the perfect end of the school holiday treat.”

The event will raise funds to support the work of Artlink Central, a charity close to the author’s heart.

Julia Donaldson said:“I’ve been patron of Artlink Central since 2006, a fantastic charity which puts artists, actors, musicians, photographers and writers into Scottish communities to work with vulnerable people like prisoners and people experiencing mental health issues or living with dementia. I’m delighted thatproceeds from the performances and the book sales will go to supporting ongoing creative opportunities for children and adults across Central Scotland.”

There will be two performances at 11am and 3pm and each show will be followed by book sales and signings, also in aid of Artlink Central. Tickets, which include entrance to Blair Drummond Safari Park, are available at £22 for adults and £20 for concessions. (Safari Park Members will pay £9 per ticket and £8.50 for children.) Book here.

For media coverage of this event see The Herald, The National and the Daily Record.