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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One Pelican at a Time by Nancy Stewart

One Pelican at a Time by Nancy Stewart is a small book with a big message: everyone, even kids, can help make our world a greener place.

Bella and Britt are sad when blobs of smeary oil stain their beach. They want to help with clean up efforts, but the ranger explains it’s a big job that the adults have to handle. When their friend the old pelican becomes covered in oil, the girls’ quick thinking and action helps save his life. Maybe there are ways for kids to help.

In this beautifully told story of the 2010 Gulf oil spill, author Nancy Stewart brings young readers up close to the disaster and encourages them to make a difference. How often as a child were you told to let the adults handle it? I bet our kids are just as frustrated now when they hear it as we were back then; especially considering children nowadays are more socially conscious. There are ways that all of us can make a difference, and in One Pelican at a Time, we see that desire and compassion lead to quick thinking and action on the part of two young girls who wish to save their animal friend.

Artist Samantha Bell provided the stunning artwork for this one. I’ve seen Bell’s artwork on numerous occasions. I love her use of color and the emotions she manages to capture with her drawings.

Also included are are helpful links so kids can learn more and tips on how they can help by being a bit greener each day.

One Pelican at a Time by Nancy Stewart should be in classrooms and homes everywhere!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
ISBN-10: 1616331399
ISBN-13: 978-1616331399
SRP: $11.95



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The author paid me a fee to promote her book through a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book! This fee did not include a review. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I received no monetary compensation of any kind. 

Bindi Wildlife Adventures Series: Trouble at the Zoo and Rescue

Young readers can jump into the shoes of Bindi Irwin in this fictional adventure series based upon her life. Trouble at the Zoo is the first book in a planned six-book series titled, Bindi Wildlife Adventures. In this installment, it is Bindi’s birthday, and she is celebrating at the Australia Zoo. With the Irwin family and visitors dressed as sea creatures, Bindi is excited to tell everyone that the proceeds from the day’s event will be used to help prevent whaling in Antarctica. Things soon turn tense when Bindi’s younger brother, Robert, spies a visitor stealing an eastern water dragon. With the help of a green-winged macaw and some quick thinking, Bindi saves the day.

My daughters have been Bindi fans since they saw her in The Wiggles: Wiggly Safari, when she was about 4; so, they were thrilled to have a chance to read Trouble at the Zoo together. The book opens with a page that is one of Bindi’s diary entries, which is written after the events in the book took place. I noticed that books one and two are written by different authors. This kind of surprised me. The reason I picked it up is because the second book flowed a bit better than the first.  My daughters (ages 7 and 9) did not feel any different about the books. They loved both of them.

What I feel Trouble at the Zoo did well is portray the exuberance and excitement of Bindi Irwin. Like her late father, Steve, she captivates her audience, which allows her to share her conservation message. Her personality is so well captured in this book that you would swear Bindi was in the room relaying the story to you.

In the second book of Bindi Wildlife Adventures, Rescue, Bindi and her friend Hannah are on a guided horse-riding trek in South Africa. Bindi is thrilled that she is going to get a chance to see many kinds of African creatures. Their adventure is quickly sidetracked when the girls discover the supposed breeding sanctuary for the endangered giant sable antelope is actually a game reserve where rich men hunt the game for sport. When the girls are caught spying, they find themselves in grave danger.

Rescue follows the same format as Trouble at the Zoo, with the first page an entry from Bindi’s diary that talks about her adventure in South Africa as a teaser, and the full story following. Overall, I enjoyed this story a bit more than the first. The writing style is similar, capturing the essence of Bindi within its pages, but this one is more polished. Bindi’s mom, Terri, and brother Robert, play roles in this book, just as they did in the first one, which gives fans a feeling of being in familiar territory. Though Bindi is the focus of the books, readers witness the interaction between Bindi, her mom and her brother, in addition to the relationships they have with friends. It’s definitely a nice touch. It also allows the conservation message to be relayed in a way that it doesn’t come across like a hammer hitting you over the head. The reader watches the family’s dedication to wildlife and wants to be a part of that mission. I feel this is very important because the books aim to discuss serious topics, but because of how they are written, they are able to deliver that message and still be light.

Both Trouble at the Zoo and Rescue have colorful, fun covers that young readers will find attractive.  Each book includes Animal Fact Files containing information about the animals mentioned in the book. There is also a page with a link to a website where readers can sign up to be a Wildlife Warrior. Both books are available now at a variety of online retailers. Book 3, Bushfire, and Book 4, Camouflage, will be released in June.

I’m excited about the Bindi Wildlife Adventures series. It’s a great way to honor the legacy of Steve (The Crocodile Hunter) Irwin, and teach kids the importance of protecting the creatures that share our planet.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Trouble at the Zoo

  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
  • ISBN-10:1402255144
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402255144
  • SRP: $4.99

Rescue

  • Publisher:Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
  • ISBN-10:1402255179
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402255175
  • SRP:  $4.99

I received copies of these books from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation for sharing my views.


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Mr. Ginger and the Disappearing Fish by Chris Wardle

 The fifth and final installment of the Mr Tinfish series will definitely remind you of why you love the series in the first place.

The tremendous amount of noise caused by the recent arrival of hundreds of seabirds has Mr. Choli up in arms. He’s determined to bring this issue before Mr. Vinegar and get a stop put to this immediately.

Mr. Ginger, on the other hand, is more concerned with the problem of disappearing fish. While this is the reason all the birds have come to rest near the river at Daphne Wood, the other problem is that he certainly can’t cook all his delightful and interesting meals without a fish supply.

Mr. Vinegar is more concerned about what the birds’ roosting is doing to his roof. Something must be done!

As everyone in Daphne Wood rises to another challenge, Mr. Ginger gets to try a new adventure, William Tinfish comes up with a new idea, and Mr. Vinegar is shocked over new developments.

They say all good things must come to an end, but I am certainly sad to know that I won’t have any more books in the Mr. Tinfish series to read. In this engaging final installment, the hundreds of seabirds looking for food have come to the river of Daphne Wood. Not only are they loud, there certainly isn’t going to be enough fish for everyone if they stick around.

But the larger problem is that the fish don’t seem to like the change in the ocean currents. The warmer waters, which Daphne the polar bear isn’t fond of, aren’t liked by the fish either. So, the fish moved to a new location, causing a shortage of a very necessary food supply for many of the residents of Daphne Wood.

In Mr. Ginger and the Disappearing Fish, readers find much of what they have enjoyed in the earlier books in the series:  the kooky characters whose quirks make for many funny moments; the cooperation amongst all the members of Daphne Wood to meet the challenges climate changes bring upon them; and the numerous expeditions that include some interesting communications between the expedition teams and Mr. Vinegar.

I found the addition of the seabirds in this book to make for some great conversations and situations. Wardle knows exactly what he needs to do to move this story along . There is never a moment when the reader isn’t eager to turn the pages. Despite the fact that this book is dealing with a very serious issue, Wardle continues to find a way to get young people thinking, while providing them with an enjoyable read.

If I remember correctly, Wardle is also the one who draws the illustrations for Mr. Ginger and the Disappearing Fish, and the other books in the Mr. Tinfish series. I would  love to have some of these drawings framed on the wall of my office. I could also see a nursery decorated with the animals of Daphne Wood.

While Mr. Ginger and the Disappearing Fish brings the story of Daphne Wood’s zany residents to an end, I like how Wardle left them. I could see some Daphne Wood short stories coming out of this. Perhaps if I beg, the author will give us another book to enjoy.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂



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Mrs. Cat-biscuit’s search for the downward land by Chris Wardle

 The residents of Daphne Wood return in this fourth installment of the Mr. Tinfish series, Mrs. Cat-biscuit’s search for the downward land.

The birds and animals have overcome many obstacles as a result of the climate changes. Having moved from their original homes and settling in Daphne Wood, they have created a community that has met the challenges they face.

When an earthquake rocks Daphne Wood, it brings with it greater challenges than they have ever faced before. Can they continue to pull together to adapt to their ever-changing environment?

In Mrs. Cat-biscuit’s search for the downward land by Chris Wardle, old and new characters come alive–quirks and all–through a new story of how climate change impacts the environment.

The birds and animals have faced many challenges so far:  a threat to their homes; establishing a new community; growing crops that can survive the increasingly hot conditions; and how to keep up a respectable fish supply while the ice shelf shifts and thickens.

In this new installment, changes brought on by an earthquake send some residents of Daphne Wood off on two separate expeditions. Readers who have explored the first three books of the Mr. Tinfish series, will fondly remember Mr. Choli, Mr. Ginger, Mr. Vinegar, Daphne, the Tinfish family, and many others. New characters are met along the way, and it is going to take everyone to overcome this latest challenge.

Having five cats, I’ve always loved Mr. Choli and Mr. Ginger: their love of food, their love of naps, and their hatred of water. While assigning human characteristics to these characters, Wardle also manages to get them to act very much like the birds and animals they are.

What Wardle has done well in this book is continue the spirit of cooperation and problem-solving that began with the first book in the series.  In addition, his passion in creating these quirky characters is evident. Between his possible sightings of pirates and sea monsters, I’m surprised Mr. Taverre the parrot hasn’t fainted dead away.

Finding books that educate and entertain can be difficult. Wardle has managed to create four books that do just that. Mrs. Cat-biscuit’s search for the downward land, like the other books in the Mr. Tinfish series, helps young people realize the impact climate changes have on our environment while making them laugh from time to time.

Come back tomorrow for my review of Mr. Ginger and the Disappearing Fish.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂



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Little Big Wolf by Carlton Scott

Nathan dreams he is exploring the rocky trails of the forest when a large wolf pounces. Suddenly the wolf appears nervous, and Nathan and he stumble upon two hunters. Nathan soon discovers the other source of the wolf’s anxiety, a pup that is too sick to play.  Nathan tends to the pup, then he and the wolf continue their adventure.

Little Big Wolf by Carlton Scott brings young readers on an adventure into the forest, where a young boy befriends a pack of wolves. Soon, she discovers, however, this is just Nathan’s birthday dream.

I have to admit to being on the fence over this book.  The storyline is good, though I’m not sure I care for a young boy wandering off into the woods and becoming friends with wild animals. The prose flows relatively smooth, but I guess I’m missing the point of the book. Perhaps the author is going for a subtle humans and animals can easily share the same world and humans should help animals in need type of message, but that isn’t truly clear to me.

The other thing that stood out to me is the illustrations. In Grin’s Message, the author fully illustrated the book. But in Little Big Wolf, Scott opted to use nature photographs along with his drawings of Nathan, the wolves, and other people or things superimposed (I believe this is the correct term) over them. It gives the book an amateurish feel, besides looking odd.

It’s a nice story, but after reading Grin’s Message I was hoping for a bit more.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:  Ends of the Earth Books
  • ISBN:  0-9636652-8-6
  • SRP:  $9.95


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    Grin’s Message by Carlton Scott

    A charming story with an excellent message is what you’ll find in Grin’s Message by Carlton Scott.

    Grin is a bottlenose dolphin who likes to help others. When Ollie the Octopus gets caught in the trash between some stones, Grin helps him get free. He encourages Ollie to spread his message and help others, which Ollie does when he meets Moo Moo and Mee Mee the manatees. But it will take all of them to get Grin out of trouble when the time arrives.

    Grin’s Message is an enjoyable rhyming story that encourages children to help each other. In addition to the more subtle message of protecting our environment, Grin, the manatees, and Ollie show readers how wonderful it can be when we all do what we can to help out.

    Beautifully written and illustrated by Carlton Scott, Grin’s Message is sure to have many young fans.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:  End of the Earth Books
  • ISBN:  0-9636652-7-8
  • SRP:  $9.95
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