Children's author Brian Jacques dies in England

The animal residents of Redwall Abbey are in mourning over the death of their creator, Brian Jacques, who died of a heart attack in Liverpool, England at the age of 71. Jacques wrote 21 novels in the Redwall series.

Jacques wrote the first of his series for children at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind. "I wanted to write something visual that I could read to the children," Jacques said in an interview.

He chose animals as characters because they were popular with his target audience, kids ages 9 to 15. "A dirty rat, a sly fox, a slippery snake, an heroic mouse, a homely mouse, a friendly badger . . . these are all prevalent in the folk tales of Europe, and they suit the medieval setting well," said Jacques, who wrote 21 "Redwall" books.