12 July 2014

I Love Turtles – Aquarium’s second puppet storybook published

Marguerite Venter
The cover of our latest puppet story book, I Love Turtles

A year ago, we launched our first Puppet Stories book, Keep the Beach Clean. The educational value of this book, along with its puppet show, has exceeded all my expectations. With this great combination of mediums we are able to teach young children through fun and repetition. I am therefore very excited and grateful to have launched the second book, I Love Turtles.

In it, we follow the adventures of Hatch the turtle, and learn about the dangers of marine litter – especially discarded balloons, which look like food to turtles. Hatch encourages kids to have balloon-free birthday parties at the Aquarium.

Whatever will we do without balloons to cheer up a party? Those colourful rubbery bags filled with breath or a finite resource. I’m not so sure if I’d like to waste my breath on something that doesn’t really serve much purpose.

Did you know that the so-called biodegradable balloons take a couple of years to biodegrade? So don’t be fooled by their name, because in a few years they can still cause plenty of damage! Did you also know that there is a new name for events where huge numbers of balloons are released in honour of something? They are called “mass littering events”. Ever wondered where the balloons go once they’re out of sight? They come down, and often end up in the sea.

Like me, I do not want my son to only realise in his twenties or thirties that the type of consumer he’s been has caused much destruction. I want him to know now while he is still young that the type of consumer he will one day be will highly impact the Earth and the animals he loves so dearly.

I don’t want him to say no to a free plastic bag or balloon because I do. I want him to say no to it because he understands its impact and because he knows that you do not have to accept it only because it is free. I also want him to understand that the dump truck doesn’t make our trash magically disappear from the Earth. This is what we’re aiming to teach through I Love Turtles and Keep the Beach Clean.

We launched the I Love Turtles book along with its puppet show on 7 June 2014 and had a fun-filled day with our great new story, lovely new puppet characters and loads of excited children.

We had a whole day launch with three puppet shows and book readings. Children were also able to colour in their favourite character from the book.

Many used the opportunity to purchase their Puppet Stories book at the special launch price (a portion of the proceeds from this book will go towards turtle rehabilitation).

And thanks to sponsorship from Value Baking Supplies, all the kids were able to celebrate balloon-free birthdays by decorating and eating yummy cupcakes.

Many thanks to Ghalieb Daniels, who took all the photos at the launch. For any Puppet Stories book or travelling puppet show queries, contact puppetbooks@aquarium.co.za.

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