Children's book joins fight against deadly devil disease
The authors of a new children's book about the adventures of a fashion-conscious Tasmanian Devil hope to help save its main character's species from the brink of extinction.
Snazzy Nevil’s Turtle-neck Jumper has launched on Amazon, and its creators have pledged a large proportion of its profits to an appeal supporting the development of a vaccine for the deadly Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).
The main character in the story is a Tasmanian Devil named ‘Snazzy Nevil’ who embarks on a globetrotting adventure sparked by the loss of his favourite turtle-neck jumper. The picture book’s young readers join him on his quest as he travels to far-away places, encountering many different animals as he searches high and low for his lost jumper.
The book was authored by brothers Boaz and Ari Shaw, who grew up in southern Tasmania, always with an eye on the bush at night, hoping to spot one of the notoriously shy creatures in the wild. This is an experience that is now more precious than ever.
"As a result of this terrible disease the Tasmanian Devil is now highly endangered, numbers in the wild have dropped by a staggering 85 percent," Boaz said.
"In an attempt to help reverse this alarming statistic and save Nevil and his friends, my brother and I decided to donate twenty-five percent of our profits from the book to the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal. These are the people making the most headway in the fight to save the devils from disappearing from our world."
Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal Manager, Rebecca Cuthill was thrilled with the support shown by Boaz and Ari.
“It’s always inspiring when I am approached by people wanting to help the Tassie devil,” Ms Cuthill said.
“Devils are fighting a horrific disease, but there is a chance of securing their future in the wild, where they belong, and I encourage people to buy the book, support this effort and help us fund this critical research.”
A lone devil was recently seen running along the driveway of the brothers’ family home for the first time in many years. Though it looked healthy, without closer inspection it was hard to be sure. The excitement around the sighting was the inspiration for the creation of the book.
Snazzy Nevil captures the imaginations of children as they see the Tasmanian Devil meet animals from outside of Australia for the first time, in Boaz’s colourful illustrations.
"Growing up in the Tasmanian wilderness, we didn’t see Tasmanian Devils all that often. So on the occasions we did, it was tremendously exciting,” Boaz said.
“Back then the sightings were never of sick devils, but of quick, sneaky, and shy animals, lost to our sight in the blink of an eye. In Snazzy Nevil’s Turtle-neck Jumper the notoriously anti-social Tassie Devil gets out there and travels the world meeting creatures of all shapes and sizes.”
The book is available in Hobart at Fullers Bookshop and The Hobart Bookshop, as well as Petrarch’s Bookshop in Launceston, amazon.com , and the EU and UK amazon sites, createspace.com , and other retailers.
To organise interviews, or request a review copy or high resolution illustrations, call Ari Shaw on +61 416 510 228, or email Boaz Shaw on email@example.com
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