CHANDLER, ARIZ. (September 2017) – The word “desert” typically evokes pictures of dry, hot sand and lonely spaces. Yet, the Sonoran Desert experiences monsoon thunderstorms in summer, making it one of the most diverse climates in America – and the perfect home to the desert tortoise, hero of a new children’s book by first-time author Carol Hageman.
Bubby’s Puddle Pond: A Tortuga’s Tale of the Desert (Nina Story Books, LLC), skillfully illustrated by Nathaniel P. Jensen, follows Bubby, a desert tortoise, from the moment a young girl lifts him out of a shoebox and sets him down in his special grassy habitat for the first time. The small tortoise is delighted with the patch of grass, cozy burrow and “puddle pond” his owner, Erin (named after Hageman’s daughter), has prepared for him. The habitat becomes the site for Bubby’s budding friendships with other desert animals. As these unlikely “pals” learn to work together for the benefit of the group, Bubby realizes how brave he can be.
The story is a mix of fiction and true events from the author’s own life. Having grown up on a farm in Vincennes, Indiana, the author spent most of her youth playing and working outside. Hageman has always been fascinated with wildlife.
“Being raised on a farm gave me a greater appreciation and love for nature. I want to kindle some of that same curiosity and wonder in children who read my book,” Hageman said.
Though she left the farm when she married, the love of nature never left her. Hageman applied her gardening skills to learning floral design, eventually opening her own florist shop in Henderson, Kentucky, before she moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1989 and discovered the wonders of the Sonoran Desert.
Bubby’s Puddle Pond: A Tortuga’s Tale of the Desert introduces readers to the language of the landscape. The text highlights such words as “mesquite” and “gecko,” then defines them in a glossary. A curriculum guide and fact sheet will help teachers and parents use the book as an educational tool.
It is illegal to capture desert tortoises in the wild in Arizona, so Bubby’s Puddle Pond also includes information on how to adopt one. As way to support the Arizona Game and Fish tortoise adoption program, Hageman will donate one dollar from every book sold to the program.
Produced by Story Monsters LLC and edited by award-winning science and nature children’s author, Conrad J. Storad, Bubby’s Puddle Pond: A Tortuga’s Tale of the Desert (ISBN: 978-0-9989851-0-7, $14.95, paperback, perfect-bound; eISBN: 978-0-9989851-1-4; $4.99, e-book) is slated for national release on October 24, 2017 and is currently available for purchase on Amazon. For more information about Bubby’s Puddle Pond, visit www.NinaStoryBooks.com or email Carol Hageman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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