Mt. Pleasant, S.C. (April 23, 2007) – The American Humane Association's 93rd annual "Be Kind to Animals" Week begins Sunday, May 6 and offers a great opportunity to remind people about the important role animals play in our lives.
The American Humane Association has been hosting this week since 1915 to celebrate the remarkable bond between humans and animals, and children's illustrator Emanuel Schongut's picture books, "Turtles In My Sandbox" and "Christmas Eve Blizzard," are one way to promote compassion towards animals among children and to teach them how to care for wildlife.
Both of the California illustrator's picture books encourage kindness, teach children and adults how to care for animals-specifically terrapin turtles and cardinals-and have been a finalist for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Henry Bergh Book Award. "Blizzard" was nominated for the 2005 award and "Sandbox" is under consideration for the 2006 award, which will be announced at the American Library Association's (ALA) annual conference in June.
"Turtles In My Sandbox" is written by award-winning Maryland author Jennifer Keats Curtis and is based on a popular terrapin head start program that gives Maryland students the opportunity to participate as experts gather, hatch and release terrapin eggs each summer. The picture book follows a young girl named Maggie as she becomes a "turtle sitter," raises the baby turtles and then, with the help of scientists, releases the "head started" turtles into the bay.
The Terrapin Institute, the Department of Biological Services at Ohio University and the Department of Biology at the University of Florida have vetted "Sandbox" for scientific accuracy and Curtis donates a portion of her royalties to the Terrapin Institute. Schongut adds, "Although the heroine is a young girl, I think that Jennifer wrote the story in a way that makes every child who reads the book feel included regardless of race or sex, and that's part of what makes our book unique-and what makes it so appropriate for ‘Be Kind to Animals' Week."... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.