A NEW book aiming to warn children about the dangers of loan sharks has been launched in Caerphilly.

A Fist Full of Feathers is the story of a struggling duck family who are offered food and bedding from a magpie.

But when the duck family find out they have return four times as much as they borrowed from the magpie, they find themselves in trouble.

The 35-page picture book, which is aimed at children aged seven to 11-years-old, was launched by PETRA (Parents Engaging To Raise Aspirations) Publishing at Ty Sign Primary School in Risca, before Christmas.

Funded by the Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit, using the proceeds of crime, it is set to be distributed to schools across Caerphilly county borough and will also be available from all libraries in the area.

Michelle Jones, of PETRA Publishing, and the co-ordinator at Parent Network in Caerphilly, said the book aims to help break the cycle of families borrowing from loan sharks.

“The message of the book is to try and break that cycle of borrowing from loan sharks,” said Mrs Jones.

“What we find is if the grandparents borrowed then that’s the way the family will do it.

“It’s often okay when it’s smaller amount of money, but when they are borrowing larger sums that is when there are problems.”

Mrs Jones said it is important to educate children about the issue to try and break the cycle.

The Parent Network in Caerphilly encourages families to use credit unions such as Smart Money Cymru Credit Union in Caerphilly instead.

Alison Dacey, headteacher at the school, said the book makes a difficult subject easier to understand.