Originally from New Zealand, Deborah Kelly now lives in Australia. She has a degree in marine biology, but has worked in all sorts of jobs. She has written several picture books and a junior fiction series. Lisa Stewart was shortlisted for the Crichton Award for New Illustrators for her first book, Can I Cuddle The Moon? (written by Kerry Brown). It has since been published in Taiwan and Korea, and illustrations from the book were used by Sydney Opera House in their highly popular 'Babies Proms' series. She has illustrated several more picture books since then, and also tours the world as a professional violinist, playing with the Acacia Quartet. She lives in Orange, New South Wales.
This is a very sensitively written book that provides gorgeous images with a message about ecology, the environment and optimism. Read and learn about the dugong's calf's family close relationship, its habitat, it quests for sweet waters, pollution free, and an ocean that all can utilise. For adults, teachers and carer's there is a handy page of Dugong Facts to assist you answering those never ending why questions, eg where they live, what does the name mean, how do they communicate? etc A great teaching resource and an environmental call for action. - Reading, Writing and Riesling Recommended. With the vulnerable dugong only surviving within marine parks around Australia's coast, this timely look at the animal and its habits and vulnerability should shake the sentiments of young readers to help them become more aware of how we have had an impact on the lives of these majestic animals who live as long as we do. The first half of the story shows the birth and early development of a dugong, bonding with its mother, helped to make its first steps within the marine environment, rising to the surface, testing its strengths, finding the right food to eat and how to eat it, learning to hide when predators come along. But it is the human activity that throws them more than anything else. They must avoid the rubbish thrown into the sea, dive down when noisy fast boats skim over the water above, look out for nets that entrap until the dugong calf finds it is alone. Children will be saddened for the baby dugong, left alone in a sea of danger, but be made well aware that it is unsafe because of our misuse of the land in which we live. The last four double pages offer solutions that will delight the readers, upset by the dugong's plight. This will engage the children in real solutions after reading the story preceding it, and all is followed by a page of information about the dugong, aimed at giving the reader the information they need to better understand the plight of the dugong, half of the world's population of which live in Australian waters. Themes: Dugongs, Pollution, Environment, Vulnerable animals, Fishing. - Read Plus