Interview with Bindi Irwin, International Tween Superstar and Co-creator of Bindi Wildlife Adventures

Joining us today is Bindi Irwin. Bindi is the daughter of Terri Irwin and the late Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. Bindi has just co-created a fictional tween adventure series based upon her life at the Australia Zoo. We’ll talk to Bindi about her books, her dedication to conservation, and her dreams for the future.

Welcome to The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection, Bindi. It’s an honor to have you with us. It’s inspiring to see all that you have accomplished.

Let’s talk for a moment about the Australia Zoo. You’ve grown up there. It’s an important part of your life. Could you share one of your favorite memories from the zoo?

The best thing about living at Australia Zoo is that I am surrounded by wildlife. After school every day I get to hang out with all the animals. I might feed the echidnas or hug the koalas at our wildlife hospital. One of my favourite memories would be when I was little, I’d sit in the enclosure with the newly hatched Burmese Pythons and play for ages. 

Your father had a dream. You spoke of his desire to change the world and how you wanted to continue his work. Why is this so important to you?

My dad always taught me that one man can make a difference, and I believe that one kid can make a difference too. 

My dad’s important work must continue and I’m inspired by all the support my family has received. I’m determined never to give up! 

I don’t want Dad’s passion to ever end; I want to help endangered wildlife just like he did. 

I was excited to receive a review request for the first two books in your new chapter book series: Trouble at the Zoo and Rescue. How did this series come about?

The idea behind the books was to write stories that were enjoyable to all kids and that were fictional, based on our family’s real life adventures. 

It was a lot of fun helping with the books because I was a co-creator. I got to proofread the final copy of all of the books to make sure that the facts were correct and that the story line was how I wanted it to be. I also got to pick the animals and the storylines that the books were based on. 

The first book, Trouble at the Zoo, is about my birthday at Australia Zoo and how it almost got ruined by a 10 year old boy trying to sneak one of our beautiful water dragons out of the zoo. It is fantastic! 

The second book, Rescue, is about a trip to South Africa. My friend Hannah and I discover a nature preserve for the giant stable antelope that is being used for illegal hunting at night.  It’s an exciting story! 

What do you hope children will learn from these adventures?

Children are the future and every kid can make a difference! I hope that these books get kids excited about protecting animals and the environment. I hope that kids will feel empowered to be the hero of their own story and want to make a difference in our world. 

I don’t want my dad’s passion to ever end. I’m excited to continue helping teach people all over the world about conservation. 

Where can readers buy these books?

My books are available wherever books are sold – in bookstores and online.

Do you have a website where they can learn more?

If you go to australiazoo.com you can keep up to date with all our wonderful animals, learn about our amazing conservation projects and how you can help, see the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital’s patient of the week and you can even adopt one of our gorgeous animals. 

If you could tell kids one thing about conservation, what would it be?

Wildlife is an important part of our world. Every time we lose an animal species it’s like losing a brick from the house, pretty soon the house just falls down. 

The single biggest thing you can do is to not buy wildlife products. Wildlife is still dying to be in fashion. 

You’ve already accomplished so much in your young life. What are a few of the dreams you’re still working on?

The Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve is a beautiful place in Cape York that was dedicated to my dad. We are trying to protect the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve from being strip mined. So if you go to australiazoo.com you can sign the petition and help us with the fight. Even kids under 18 can sign it if they are in Australia.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Bindi. Good luck with your books!

 

Read our reviews of these books at https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/bindi-wildlife-adventures-series-trouble-at-the-zoo-and-rescue/



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Horse Crazy (Book 1) – The Silver Horse Switch by Alison Lester

Horse_Crazy_Book_1Young horse lovers are going to get a kick out of Horse Crazy, the new series by Australian author Alison Lester.

In Book 1, The Silver Horse Switch, we meet best friends Bonnie and Sam (her real name is Samantha). These girls know all the horses in Currawong Creek: Whale, Biscuit, Bella, Blondie and Tex, just to name a few. Bonnie whispers to horses and Sam always knows how a horse feels.

The Silver Horse Switch finds Sam’s dad, Sergeant Bill Cooper in possession of Drover, a young brumby who had been captured and broken in. Drover is afraid of trains, but makes a good work horse for Bill, even though she won’t let the girls ride her. Drover hates being locked up in the small paddock each night and she longs to be free to roam with the other wild horses.

One day, the girls notice that Drover has changed. She doesn’t pace in the paddock anymore and even though she a bit afraid of the girls, she seems to like them. And then they notice that Drover’s crescent-shaped scar is gone. This isn’t Drover at all, but a horse that looks just like her.

How was the switch made? And how can they keep the horse’s secret so that they can keep her?

Geared for readers ages 5 to 8, The Silver Horse Switch is an engaging story that will be enjoyed by young readers everywhere. Lester has created two girls who love and know horses like no one else in Currawong Creek.

Even though Currawong Creek is in Australia, based upon the illustrations and the storylines you could mistake Currawong Creek for an American mid-western prairie town, which makes the book appealing to a wider audience.

Speaking of the illustrations, Roland Harvey did an excellent job of bringing this story to life with his pictures. The inside cover has a colored map of all the places in town, including where each horse mentioned in the book resides. Harvey’s illustrations are so charming and sometimes funny–like the time the new Drover pressed her mane right up against Mick Daly’s face–that they truly compliment and complete the story. I’m glad to see that Harvey returns to illustrate the other books in this series.

Also included is a short list of Australian terms found in the book.

Whether your young reader is a lover of horses or just enjoys a good story with interesting characters and delightful illustrations, The Silver Horse Switch is sure to please.

I can’t wait to read the next Horse Crazy books!

Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Chronicle Books
  • ISBN-10: 0811865541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811865548
  • SRP:  $4.99