It’s wild out there – and Fish Hoek author Dr Lynn Hurry wants help to keep it that way.
In his book, Abygale Aardvark and her Wildlife Friends, Dr Hurry gives voices to a plethora of local wild animals who take readers on journey their fascinating worlds. The book took several years to fully research for accuracy.
It was written to encourage primary-phase learners and their families to think differently about our wildlife, specifically the way different species interact.
There are aardvarks, aardwolfs, giraffes, hornbills, baboons, white-eyes, impala, red-billed oxpeckers, Cape buffalo, red-chested cuckoos, honey bees and termites.
At the back of the book are simple explanations of all the scientific animal names, a glossary of some of the words in the stories and cardboard cut-out badges. Readers are also encouraged to start their own Look Up to and Care for Animals for Tomorrow and Always (LUCAFTA) clubs.
“Every story delivers the message that every animal species, from a sparrow to a crocodile, needs protection if they are to survive into the future, and this book is an open invitation for all to participate,” Dr Hurry said.
He has published previously in the fields of geography, eco-tourism and environmental sustainability.
In 2014, he initiated an EcoHeroes series with the Wildlife Society of South Africa. “Thus far, we’ve published close on 30 stories about people who made significant contributions to environmental conservation – including stories on Nelson Mandela and birdman Kenneth Newman whose bird-books are in so many South African homes,” he said.
Dr Hurry has his own small in-house publisher, Aardvark Publications, which has been going since the late 1990s.
“My choice of an aardvark as the storyteller goes back to experiences I’ve had with wild aardvarks in remote places and my ongoing fascination with them as a species. So much so that I have had a large fluffy toy aardvark that my wife made for me over 30 years ago that I keep with me when talking about my books,” Dr Hurry laughs.
The Abygale character was developed by his grand-daughter, Rachel Hurry, who lives on a Hoedspruit game farm, from where she runs her own brand-development agency.
The book will be on the shelves of major bookstores this month.
Visit www.abygale-aardvark.africa for more information. The electronic version is available from Briza Publications at www.briza.co.za.