The rescue of a turtle hatchling and research by a Charles Darwin University academic have inspired the creation of a children’s book titled “Monty C. Turtle Learns to Swim!”
Sea turtle expert Dr Mick Guinea from the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods co-authored the educational book that gives children a lesson in sea turtle biology and introduces them to a range of native sea creatures.
“Monty the turtle wakes up one morning to find he has slept through the hatching of his brothers and sisters,” Dr Guinea said. “His instinct is to swim, but he is not sure he knows how. He meets various sea creatures including a crab, sea snake and sand dollar who try to teach him to swim like them, to no avail. It is not until he meets a pelican who teaches him to flap his flippers that he can join his family in the ocean.”
Dr Guinea said the book, which also aimed to inspire children to believe that they could swim, would teach the next generation about turtle nesting. The story was based on the rescue of a small hatchling on an island off Western Australia while Dr Guinea was conducting turtle monitoring.
Dedicated to the conservation and research of Australia’s turtles, Dr Guinea runs AusTurtle Inc (www.austurtle.org.au), which supported and contributed to sea turtle education to protect the dwindling species in the Northern Territory.
Monty C. Turtle Learns to Swim! is co-authored by Kara Lauder and illustrated by Sunshine Herbert, and is published by Seedling Publishing. The book was launched recently at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium.
It is available at the CDU Bookshop.