Ruth Symes

Children's Author


Bella Donna Books - A witch, a cat and a lot of magic!

Coven Road

Some girls dream of being a princess, but Bella Donna has always longed to be a witch. The only thing she wants more is to find a family to take her out of the children's home where she lives. But no one seems quite right until she meets Lilith.

With Lilith's help, will Bella Donna be able to make both of her secret wishes come true?

Too Many Spells

Half the time Bella Donna is a regular girl at a regular school with her regular friends - animal-mad Sam, and pink fan Angela. The rest of the time she's a young witch learning to cast spells and living with her adoptive mum Lilith, and Lilith's niece Verity.

Bella is working very hard at learning her spells, as she's desperate to win the Spell Casting Contest. But a new teacher at school, Miss Rowan, is making her nervous. Witchlike things are happening in the classroom, and Bella knows it isn't her . . .


Bella Donna is a witchling - a young witch who must keep her powers a secret, and only use magic when she's at home in the enchanted Coven Road.But it's hard to stick to the rules when magic is such fun.

There are broomsticks to fly, and with a spell to get her way all the time, Bella's life is going to be fantastic...Isn't it?

Cat Magic

Bella Donna's favourite cat has always been Pegatha, who loves to sleep on Bella's bed and follow her around like a little shadow.

But when Pegatha goes missing, Bella discovers that Pegatha is no ordinary cat . . .

Witch Camp

Bella Donna's very excited to be going off to her first witchling Summer camp. When she arrives, with her stowaway cat, Pegatha, it seems to be just as magical as she thought it would be. But everything changes when someone casts a spell.

The camp turns into a camp of nightmares. The waterfalls have turned into mud and the flowers into weeds. Bella has to find the spell caster and reverse the spell - but who cast it and why?


Bella's cat is a real witch's cat and Bella tells her everything! At school Bella's class are practising for a big gym display. Bella is rubbish at gym - hard as she tries, she can't manage to vault over the horse or climb the rope or walk along the narrow beam without falling off.

But she knows Pegatha would be able to do it easy peasy. So they decide to cast a spell to swap places. Bella will be a cat and Pegatha will be a girl.

It's a very short-lived spell, but it will last just long enough for everyone to think Bella is brilliant at gym - even if it's just for one lesson! The lesson goes really well - but then the spell lasts longer than expected . .

Secret Animal Society Books

Cornflake the Dragon

Twins Eddie and Izzie love animals. They want to look after ALL the school pets in the holidays – but the only one left is the grumpy lizard.

The lizard cheers up once he goes home with them and eats food he likes – they name him after his favourite.

Then Cornflake grows two bumps on his back, which gradually turn into wings – He’s really a dragon! The twins know they have to keep such a rare animal secret, but it’s hard in a small flat, especially when Cornflake starts breathing fire. When a man turns up asking awkward questions, they really start to worry. How can they keep Cornflake safe?

Spike the Sea Serpent

The Secret Animal Society – an organisation which protects those very rare animals few people know even exist – is located in a remote
valley close to the sea.

When twins Eddie and Izzie move there with their family, they’re very disappointed that many of the animals keep themselves hidden. In fact, the only one they see regularly is Cornflake the dragon. Noah, the old caretaker, tells them that it’s normal – there are some creatures that they haven’t seen for years.

Then there’s a sighting of an unidentified creature far out at sea, which seems to be heading to the sanctuary. The media goes into a frenzy – is it some sort of sea monster, a giant squid or octopus, perhaps? But it’s really a sea serpent (a plesiosaur). Noah recognises its song – it’s Spike, one of his favourite animals who no one’s seen for years. But now Spike is returning to the society, and it sounds like he’s in distress. It turns out he’s got his baby with him, who’s sick, and he’s hoping the society can help.

Snowball the Baby Bigfoot

Can the baby Bigfoot, Snowball, be reunited with his family?

At the Secret Animal Society Sanctuary, hidden away in a remote corner of the country, Christmas is approaching. There’s lots to
organise with the winter weather drawing in, and all the endangered and rare animals to care for. Even fire-breathing dragons need food and shelter!

When twins Eddie and Izzie and their family are awakened by two yetis just before the schools break up for Xmas, they realise through sign language that a baby Bigfoot has gone missing. It is starting to snow again – finding a baby animal with white fur is going to be difficult. Eddie, Izzie and their little brother Toby all have to get to school for the end of term costume party so reluctantly they head out and the search continues without them.

At school, Toby discovers one of the children crying outside wearing a snowman costume. When the little boy doesn’t talk Toby names him Snowball and tries to look after him. It’s not long before the teacher realises what’s happening and that it’s not a child in costume after all! Snowball is taken to the zoo and it’s up to Izzie and Eddie, with the help of Beth from the sanctuary, to sort out some quick costume changes and a rescue plan involving a sleigh powered by Cornflake the dragon. . .

Picture Books

Little Rex and The Big Roar

When making a lot of noise is a good thing! Little Rex loves to roar, and roar loudly! His mum and dad moan that it’s too noisy, but his baby brothers and sisters love it. When a pterodactyl swoops on the babies, it’s Rex’s loud roar that saves the day – and soon he’s teaching the babies to roar for themselves!

The Sheep Fairy

Wendy is a sheep with a dream – she wants to fly. Being a kind sort of sheep, when she finds a fairy stuck in a bush, she frees it and in return is granted one wish. So Wendy has the experience of a lifetime, flying across land and sea, returning just in time to save friends from a wolf..

Dancing Harriet

Round and round and up and down! When Harriet discovers hundreds of butterflies dancing in the sunshine, she is the happiest hedgehog in the world – and can’t help but join in. But her bliss is short-lived, because these butterflies will only dance with other butterflies … Harriet’s dancing paws don’t stop for long though, and she soon leads a band of different creatures into a dance that’s for sharing with everyone – even butterflies! A joyful story, bursting with life, to get young readers in a spin!

Mondays At Monster School

Even little monsters get worried about their first day at school. It’s a big step to take. Fred and Ted are two little monsters who aren’t at all sure they want to go…but once they do, they soon find out it’s fun. After a day filled with mud splashing and slime painting, some howling and growling practice and a good stomp and stamp, not to mention big helpings of worms for lunch – they can’t wait for Tuesday!

Also published as an early reader

Floppy Ears

Whenever Floppy Ears says ‘Can I play?’ Twitchy Nose says ‘No, you’re too little’. But it’s Floppy Ears who notices Fox creeping over the hill towards them, and gets them safely home.

Little Tail

Floppy Ears has a new little rabbit friend, Little Tail, to play with, and big sister Twitchy Nose feels a bit left out. Then Floppy Ears and Little Tail decide they’re not friends after all – and Twitchy Nose finds a wonderful way to bring them together again.

Little Rex

Rex was the SCARIEST dinosaur in the whole world. He had the pointiest of pointy teeth, the sharpest of sharp teeth and the LOUDEST
of LOUD ROARS! The trouble is everyone else thinks Rex is just a funny little tyrannosaurus. “I’m not little, I’m BIG!” Rex keeps telling them. Then one day he is looking after the eggs for his mum and dad when they start to hatch – and the baby dinosaurs are terrified to see a dinosaur as BIG as Rex!

Early Readers

Chip’s Dad

When Chip’s dad brings his lucky sneakers to the big race, he learns what is really important.

Other Novels

The Mum Trap

Anna and her younger sister Gem, who is confined to a wheelchair after a road accident think they’ve thought of the perfect birthday present for their dad when they advertise in the Lonely Hearts column of their local newspaper. Hansome and fun widower, 40, with 2 daughters aged 13 and 10, seeks somone special. But Dad is horrified when the replies start to come in. To please the girls he reluctantly makes arrangements to meet four oof the women. All four meetings go badly and the girls are forced to rethink their strategy, with surprising consequences

Frankies Romeo

Frankie is appalled to hear herself assuring the girls at school that yes she has got a boyfriend. The more fibs she tells, the worse it gets, so she builds herself a robot. The robot is the utterly gorgeous Romeo, and Frankie is the envy of the school. Unfortunately, Romeo has a few personality flaws: he is completely self-obsessed, and doesn’t understand that there are some things you just don’t say. Frankie is hurt and offended when he tells her she’s not pretty enough to be his girlfriend, and learns the hard way that ‘perfect’ is not all it’s cracked up to be. Ruth Louise Symes is a very funny writer. Her characters are engaging and memorable: Frankie, who isn’t exactly a success at school, her faithful friend Darren, her genial but dotty parents, and dashing scientist grandmother. Her truthful picture of life at home and school is a solid base for a sequence of hilarious incidents in which Romeo creates a trail of disaster.

The Master of Secrets

For an English project, each student in Raj’s class has to correspond anonymously with another. Raj soon discovers that his letter writer is the school bully Gabriel, and worse still, he knows Gabriels secret – that he is a victim of violence from his step-father. Raj is faced with a hard decision.