The Brave Turtle
Published by Imagnary House
Publisher and children’s author B. D. Harris with creative illustrator by Megan Bird bring you The Brave Turtle, a chapter book designed to educate and entertain children with an adventure story of family, bravery and a great respect for our country’s wild waters.
Profits from the sale of this book will be donated to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) to extend their water safety and drowning prevention programmes.
Having collaborated with the NSRI for this innovative fund raising and awareness initiative over a number of months, the intention was to bring to life a book that would illustrate the power and magic of the ocean and its creatures. In addition, the Two Oceans Aquarium has assisted with valuable information on the plight of our turtles.
The result is The Brave Turtle, a beautifully illustrated story that will grip readers, young and old.
Imagine what could happen if it just kept raining and raining and raining and the water rose and rose!
For our heroine Sam, who late one night rolls off her bed and splash finds her entire room flooded, this is the beginning of a huge adventure. And it’s not just her room, but the whole house is filling up with water as the world floods outside. Confused and cold, Sam is rescued by a wise, little turtle called Neville, who takes her along the beautiful underwater highway, teaching her the ways of this watery world.
‘Water isn’t cruel nor kind, but if you manage to keep your head, then the water will keep you,’ Neville repeats to Sam through their epic adventure across the newly formed oceans, meeting all sorts of interesting creatures along the way, to find and rescue Sam’s parents, now washed downstream.
The adventure introduces some delightful characters; apart from Neville the turtle (who grows magically) we are introduced to a penguin scared of the water, a grumpy baboon and a blue whale, as well as bluebottles.
Floating on driftwood, upturned cars and general flotsam, humans and sea creatures work together to search and save those lost in the floods. This is a wonderful story that carries many underlying messages the main one being that if in the water: ‘Keep calm’’.
As one young preview reader already noted, it is a memorable story: ‘A delightful tale of friendship in this magical oceanic adventure. The illustrations are beautiful as the words weave their way into your heart recognising bravery, friendship and forgiveness in three unforgettable characters. Perfect for together bed time reading.’
“ The Brave Turtle is a wonderful story that will pull both adults and children into the beautiful illustrations. You will become part of the adventure that Sam and Neville have and soon grasp that there are a number of subtly presented life lessons in the book. Breathe deeply and stay calm. Think before you do something and work together. Don’t rush into danger without a plan. These are all thoughts that Sea Rescue crew have at top of mind when they are responding to an emergency and are equally relevant to this wonderfully illustrated children story,” said Sea Rescue spokesman Andrew Ingram
Not only does the book offer lifesaving messages but it creates awareness of our turtle population.
What many people may not know is that sea turtles are classified as threatened species and of the seven species in the world, five of them visit the oceans around South Africa. The Two Oceans Aquarium has a successful turtle rehabilitation program with the help of a team of ‘turtle warriors’ who patrol our shores to rescue tired or injured turtles.
Says Two Oceans Aquarium Curator Maryke Musson, ‘Through our turtle rehabilitation programme, we have managed to release about 78% of the rescued turtles that end up with us for treatments and recovery. That is more than 450 turtles since we have formalised our programme. This would not have been possible without the tremendous efforts, passion and dedication of our turtle volunteers. Not only do they come in to clean, feed, weigh and love our turtle patients, they also initiate turtle awareness, education, and rescue programmes along our coastline. Through inspiring and educating others, we now have a massive network of people who care, including organisations such as the NSRI.’
The Brave Turtle will be launched at The Book Lounge with author B. D. Harris and illustrator Megan Bird on Saturday 27 October at 11am with a reading and live drawing workshop. The theme of the morning is “under the sea” with guest appearances from NSRI crew and staff who inspired the book.
If you love the book then by purchasing a Brave Turtle soft toy you can further assist NSRI. Made of African tshwe-tshwe fabric the toy has a heart made from… you’ll never guess… recycled wetsuits that were worn by the NSRI crew when saving lives.
www.searescue.org.za Andrew Ingram +27 21 434 4011 l Cell: 082 990 5977
To purchase: https://shop.searescue.org.za/
If you come across a tired or injured turtle, here’s what you can do to help:
1. Remove the turtle from the water. Place it in a dry container at room temperature. Please do not put it back in the water. Stranded turtles are often dehydrated and may suffer from hypothermia.
2. Call the experts. If you’re in the Western Cape, this would be the turtle team at the Two Oceans Aquarium, at 021 418 3823. They’ll need to know; where you found the turtle, its size, and its species (if you know). If you’re not in the Western Cape, they’ll also be able to refer you to your closest experts.
3. Transport them quickly and safely. The turtle needs to be transported in a suitably sized dry container that will allow it to breathe freely. Do not ever place the turtle back into water, as it may drown. Get the stranded turtle to your closest experts as quickly as possible.
To discover more about helping turtles along our coastline, visit www.aquarium.co.za/turtles