The Squirrel-Nut Newsletter
The bite-size quarterly newsletter for all things Fircone...
Welcome to the first edition of The Squirrel-Nut

We hope you enjoy finding out more about Fircone Books.

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A Squirrel-Nut
Squirrel-nut from Hyde Forest

Please help us to get the Frog Band stories enjoyed by as many people as possible, and forward this email to friends and family. Thank you!

Richard & Su Wheeler
Fircone Books


Jim Smith Exhibition

Salisbury Museum logo

Salisbury Museum is offering a rare opportunity to see some of Jim Smith’s brilliant original artwork. ‘Drawing on Salisbury: Jim Smith’s Frog Band Illustrations’ runs from 1 October until 7 January 2012, and features many of Jim’s Frog Band watercolours. Why not take a look!


Thanks for the support...

Fircone Books was awarded £500 from the South Northants Business Start Up Grant Scheme. Run jointly by South Northants Council and the University of Northampton Enterprise Club, the grant scheme offers a support package of mentoring and financial aid to encourage new businesses in South Northants.


What's in a name?

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Find out about us.


Coming soon...

Oxfordshire's Best Churches

Look out for more on Fircone's guide to the art and architecture of Oxfordshire's finest churches in the next Squirrel-Nut.

The Frogs have Landed!

First up, we are very excited to announce the arrival of Fircone’s very first children’s books, hot off the press!

The Frog Band books

The titles are new editions of a magical series of children’s books by Jim Smith, following a joyously eccentric cast of animal characters.

The reason we are so keen to re-publish the books is that, with their brilliantly original illustrations, they are unlike anything else we have read.

The Frog Band books were originally published in the late 70s and early 80s. After some research we tracked down Jim’s family in Salisbury. Jim passed away in 1990, but his family was hugely supportive of our desire to bring these wonderful books back into print.

I'm so happy to have found these books. They are among my son's happiest childhood memories. ... now we can share them with my 3 grandsons. We can't wait. - J.Martori, Phoenix, USA

The Frog Band and the Onion Seller The Frog Band and the Onion Seller page spread

When down-at-heel French aristocrat the Duke de Buffo Buffo treads on a nail while dashing downstairs clutching a newly-discovered treasure map, he is forced to call on the services of eminent detective Alphonse le Flic. Disguised as a French onion seller, Alphonse heads across the Channel in his submarine, his destination a rambling cliff-top monastery. Having landed in England, his erratic cycling attracts the attention of the Frog Band, who give chase.
Browse sample pages here

The Frog Band and the Mystery of Lion Castle

The Frog Band and the Mystery of Lion Castle page spread

On his way to an International Conference of Sleuths in his hot air balloon, Alphonse le Flic, eminent detective, has to land in the courtyard of Lion Castle when his balloon gets a puncture. Also seeking help from the castle's owner is the famous Frog Band, whose truck has broken down. Through the innocent curiosity of Shortie Frog a chain of events is set in motion that results in the solving of an age-old mystery: what became of Brooker's ancestor Clarence de Lyon?
Browse sample pages here

Alphonse and the Stonehenge Mystery

Alphonse and the Stonehenge Mystery page spread

The stones of Stonehenge are being stolen to order, pulled from the ground like giant teeth; but who is behind the thefts? And why do they want the stones? Alphonse le Flic, eminent detective, investigates. With the help of ace reporter Mole McGrath, Alphonse pursues notorious sausage dog, Wolfgang the Pink Baron, and ne'er-do-well badger, Nick Gristle, along country lanes and through the skies above.
Browse sample pages here

Suitable for children 3 to infinity
32pp fully illustrated, paperback with flaps
Publication 1 October 2011, £6.99 each

Buy all three titles for £18.00 (not available to trade accounts)

Just in case you don't know why you are on our mailing list:
1. You subscribed to the Fircone Books newsletter;
2. You are a friend, or belong to the family, of Su or Richard Wheeler;
3. We thought you'd be interested in Fircone Books, children's books or church art and architecture.

*squirrel-nut/ n./ what remains of a fir cone after the petals have been gnawed off by a squirrel

Contact: Fircone Books, 44 Wales Street, Kings Sutton, Banbury, OX17 3RR, UK |  Email: info@firconebooks.com
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