I was so thrilled when I saw a friend of mine had written a book. Brenda has always had a deep love for African Wildlife, and I have seen her many posts raising funds and awareness for these beautiful animals, but specifically for rhinos. Having been a teacher, Brenda has a deep love for children and her new series of books truly encompasses both her passions, whilst making a difference and encouraging a love of reading AND our African Big Five.
I am so excited to be able to feature them on my blog, and I know that you are going to love them just as much as I do – if not more…
Introducing Counting On Africa
Your name: Brenda Kerr
Business name: Counting on Africa. (The book is called Counting IN Africa) but we hope to publish others under the banner of the (Un-official) publishing house name!
Follow the book’s journey!
3 fun facts about you: Retired teacher of 40years! Gardener, crocheter, devoted Granny and huge heart for our precious African wildlife.
What is Counting on Africa: An African Safari story, it is a fun introduction to counting, (one to ten) and is designed to encourage children to see detail, learn more about the big and little five and above all, to have fun exploring our beautiful African bushveld. As an extension for further study the book has a QR code link to lots of interesting information on a custom-made, child friendly webpage, making it a valuable resource for teachers and parents who want to extend knowledge as well as encourage reading and research skills. The webpage has beautiful, informative videos, photos, and fun facts related to the big and little five, as well as links to reputable conservation organisations.
More about the book
Where did the idea for this book come from: As a side-shoot from an original number chart I had made, I wrote a shorter version of the poem as an entry for my Grade one class of 2014, at Athlone primary school. They achieved an A+ in the choral verse at the annual speech and drama festival. We so enjoyed it, I decided to extend the story and make it into a book.
Who is this book aimed at: Primarily children aged two to ten, but has appeal to parents and educators as well.
Who do you think would enjoy this book: This book is extremely well suited to the tourist industry as a memento of visits to the Game reserves, and is a perfect, lightweight gift to take home to family and friends overseas. Will also appeal to expats who miss our beautiful continent and want to share their heritage with their families and friends.
Getting a book for yourself
How can people purchase this book: Through the webpage, by emailing email@example.com, through Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk We are also hoping to get into stores in the Kruger and at airports. I visit schools to do readings and donate a book to their library and offer an opportunity for parents to order the book as well.
Where would you love to see this book available to purchase: Our biggest market would be safari lodge gift shops and tourist outlets. It would be great to have links to our book on individual blogs, webpages etc of other child related products.
Why do you think schools should include this in their library: It’s a great addition to a school library. It is vibrantly illustrated, huge local appeal to African children as they relate to the pictures. The language and fun rhyming text encourages reading, and educates about important environmental issues relative to our continent. Encourages research and involvement in conservation from an early age.
The Big Five
The use of our Big Five is clear, as well as your love of these gorgeous animals. Please expand on this decision: I support Rhino Revolution, an NGO in Hoedspruit who do AMAZING work with rewilding and caring for rhinos (and other animals) that have been orphaned by poaching. They also educate rural children who live on the borders of the game reserves. A portion of all my sales goes to Rhino Revolution to help them continue this work. My book is a way to give back and an opportunity to inspire and encourage younger generations to get involved and take responsibility for the wonderful assets that our country has to offer. Knowledge and understanding of some of the more well known and (lesser known) animals is a good starting point.
Where did your love of our Big Five come from: Growing up in Zimbabwe, a love of the open spaces and the bush, and the increase in poaching have all been motivators.
Quote you live by: I have a framed photo of a crash of rhino who I sat with in Kruger for a few peaceful minutes some years ago. It brought to mind the wonderful poem by Wendell Berry “The Peace of Wild Things”. I have adapted it for Africa and myself …..
“When despair for the world grows in me, and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wild rhino’s roam, and the great lions lie in the shade of the spreading marula trees. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought or grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest within the grace of the world, and am free.”
My final thoughts on Counting In Africa
In closing, I can’t stress enough how truly breathtaking this book is, serving as a beautiful ode to our remarkable country and a heartfelt call to cherish the incredible wildlife that surrounds us. The pages of this book whisper the untold stories of Africa’s wilderness, inviting us to become custodians of its treasures.
As I turn the final page, my hope is that this book finds its way into libraries across the nation, and even into the heart of Africa’s iconic game reserves like Phinda, Hluhluwe, Kruger, Leopard Hills, and countless others. If you happen to have connections within these reserves, I urge you to share the message of this book, amplifying its mission and inspiring a deeper connection to our natural heritage.
A heartfelt thank you to Brenda and Candiss for their unwavering dedication in bringing this masterpiece to life. Your shared passion for Africa and its magnificent Big Five is truly commendable. I extend my warmest wishes for the continued success of this book and all your future endeavors. May your journey be as remarkable as the pages within these covers.