LOCAL wildlife enthusiast and biologist Mary Beckinsale has just published her second book telling us about some of
LOCAL wildlife enthusiast and biologist Mary Beckinsale has just published her second book telling us about some of the animals we may encounter in our daily lives.
River Creatures she has moved on from the garden — the subject of her first book,
Whose Garden Is It? — and is now by the riverbank, where we are introduced to the amazing true-life stories of 24 animals living there.
As the Sully family walk their dog they encounter — among many diverse creatures — Esox the fearsome pike, Daphnia the water flea and, most extraordinary of all, Anguilla the eel.
Mary, who writes and illustrates under her maiden name Sully, decided to produce a series of books to help her four grandchildren appreciate, enjoy and protect the wildlife around them.
Her message is simple — animals don’t need to be humanised or dressed in funny clothes to interest us — their real lives are unbelievably fascinating.
Mary, who read zoology at Oxford, said: “Children are familiar with garden animals, river walks and pond dipping.
“This, combined with my book, may help young people come to understand — and marvel at — what it is like to be a snail, a kingfisher or an eel.
“While appreciating the importance of conserving wildlife around the globe, the best opportunity to instil in young people a sense of wonder and concern for animals must be by telling them of the amazing lives led by familiar little creatures seen every day.
“All animals deserve our respect, and with greater understanding would come, I trust, a desire to protect them and their habitat.”
River Creatures has more than 100 illustrations and is available at the Bell Bookshop, the River and Rowing Museum, or via www.Â gardenanimalstelall.co.uk
Mary will be making a donation for every book sold to a wildlife charity supporting conservation.