Beastly Book Reading For Mahurangi Kids On January 29
Author Michael Botur is bringing his children’s book My Animal Family to Mahurangi East Library on Saturday January 29, giving kids a chance to learn about zoology through rhyme as well as draw a fun animal poster with comic book artist Shane Evans.
The book, aimed at 8-10 year olds, was published at the end of 2021 to teach children about their place in the natural world through rhymes which deliver scientific facts about how all life is related. Narrated by the author’s children, who star in the book, My Animal Family’s core message is that humans are equal to all other living creatures. As such, the book features hilarious pictures and words about human beings’ beastly habits - including Dad eating copious amounts of KFC and hibernating, feral kids running amok in mud, and subplots about backbones, milk and rabies.
Botur says he first began writing My Animal Family four years ago to entertain his children, Abraham and Violet, now aged 10 and 8.
“The book was inspired by a debate with my daughter when she was five about whether or not humans are animals. It reminded me when I was in primary school being told that people are part of the animal kingdom and it blew my mind. I think few things are more important for kids than understanding your place in the universe and gaining joy from scientific discovery – especially while we’re all waiting for school to go back.”
Wellington illustrator Emma Weakley began work on the book’s illustrations in November 2019 and the book went through “a huge amount of back and forth” before the pictures and text were finalised in time for printing in late November 2021.
“There were so many complications, but we’ve ended up with a beautiful book that’s fun to cuddle up with your kid and read. Every line on every page of the book is a conversation-starter which should spark scientific curiosity and nudge your child towards a career in STEM… or, you could just enjoy the hilarious rhymes and pictures.”
The poster-drawing workshop and book reading covers two hours and there is no cost.
“Hopefully you can bring your kids and combine art, education and entertainment. We’ll talk about our favourite animals and talk through the surprising ways many species are related.”
My Animal Family is available to buy through Wheelers, Auckland Libraries, The Piggery, Craniums Whangarei, Journey Gallery in Whangarei, and books will be on sale on the day.
My Animal Family will also be featured in a virtual book tour with USA-based Blackberry Book Tours in February.