An animal behaviourist from the Fylde coast has started producing books for children – which she hopes have plenty of bite!
Sarah Roberts, from Great Eccleston, is hoping to inspire youngsters to sink their teeth into science, and get engaged with the natural world from an early age.
The 25-year-old’s first book, Somebody Swallowed Stanley, has just been published through her company Creature Books.
It tells the tale of Stanley, who looks like a jellyfish and is chewed, swallowed and spat back out, by lots of different sea animals, who don’t realise he is no ordinary creature.
The book, produced in association with Surfers Against Sewage – who will receive a percentage of any profits – comes with a cotton bag-for-life and is intended to encourage people to move away from using plastic carrier bags. It was printed by Blackpool firm, Bright Print.
Sarah – who works with schools under her company The Bite Project, teaching pupils about marine animals and exotic creatures from around the world – said: “The idea is to teach children from an early age, and also to some degree, adults too, about the issues around plastic pollution.
“Single-use carrier bags are just part of that, but a timely part, with the Government bringing in the 5p levy on carrier bags next year.
“My ambition is to get the book into a supermarket, any of the big supermarkets.
“Plastic carrier bags do not bio-degrade, they photo-degrade, which means they are always left in the atmosphere.
“Eventually, the toxins in plastic pollution will work their way up their food chain, and could end up coming back to us.
“This is the first book, but I’ve already written the next one.
“They will be on different topics, but the aim is to get children engaged with, and interested, in the environment.”
Former Hodgson High pupil Sarah, who not only wrote the book but did the wonderful, colourful illustrations, is also working on online video blogs, which she also hopes will help capture the imagination of the younger generation.
Sarah has spent time working with some of the world’s most dangerous and endangered sharks in the Bahamas.
She was always been interested in the natural world from an early age, and she started her career at Blackpool Zoo.
Among the places Sarah, a professional scuba diver, has carried out research, is the world-renowned Bimini Biological Field Station, in the Bahamas, known as the shark lab. It was here she met George Davis, from Bournemouth, who has a background in biology.
Now the pair have teamed up to produce the series of video blogs, almost a miniature series, packed full of information about creatures, the natural world and conservation projects here in the UK.
Sarah already goes into schools, as well as attending science fairs, and includes some video packages of her work with sea animals.
But she hopes the video blog will reach a wider audience, as well as potentially providing a free teaching aid for the classroom.
She said: “I’d really like to help dispel some of the myths surrounding science and scientists. Sadly a lot of young people, especially girls, seem to lose interest in science around high school.
“I think there is still an image of a scientist being someone with crazy hair, who wears a lab coat and goggles – and people tend to think of science as chemistry and experiments.
“But science is far wider than that. We want to grab the attention and interest of people from a young age, to show them real, living things, to bring the subject to life.
“To make science more exciting and appealing, perhaps to those who might not have thought about it before.
“And to show youngsters they could have a career in science when they are older.”
* For more details, visit www.thebiteproject.com