in a recent study, Keep Britain Tidy found that more than 8% of littered bottles on roadsides contained the dead bodies of small animals
Last summer, after picking up someone else’s rubbish, tossed from a car into a Cornish hedgerow, sisters Ruth Owen and Emma Bowring decided to turn this depressing situation into a children’s picture book.
As ardent “litter pickers” Ruth (the author) and Emma (the illustrator) realised that recruiting the children in the back of the car to their cause could be the way to give Britain’s wildlife a brighter future. “We wanted to create a story that would inspire children to shout – Don’t throw that litter from the car!”
When Little Mouse got Stuck is the result of their collaboration and the book is published this August by Ruby Tuesday Books.
When Little Mouse – a harvest mouse who lives in a hedgerow with her babies – becomes trapped in a plastic bottle, the story has a happy ending thanks to some hikers. But in a recent study, Keep Britain Tidy found that more than 8% of littered bottles on roadsides contained the dead bodies of small animals.
Ruth and Emma are both lucky enough to live in beautiful rural areas. But every day, they see food packaging, plastic bags, masks and even used nappies littering the narrow lanes and hedgerows where they live. The sisters say:
“We’ve been individually writing and painting for many years, so it was wonderful to finally work on a project together.
We know that most children care deeply about protecting wild animals. But sometimes the adults around them are not as aware of the damage their actions can cause. Kids can be very influential when it comes to protecting the environment and we want their enjoyment of the book and their love for Little Mouse to feed through to adults who may not give a second thought about littering.
We hope that Little Mouse’s story will inspire kids and adults to ALWAYS find a litter bin. We also hope it will help reduce the amount of rubbish that’s simply left behind by people visiting beautiful, natural places. If our book can save just one wild animal from a terrifying and painful death, creating this book will have been worth it!”
Once you’ve read the story of Little Mouse and her family, will you ever be able to drive past a littered plastic bottle again?
Ruth lives in Cornwall and is an award-winning author who has written hundreds of science and nature books for children. She is also part owner of Ruby Tuesday Books with her best friend and business partner, Shan White. Emma lives in Devon and is an award-winning wildlife artist. Emma has worked with the Born Free Foundation, Save the Elephants, Orangutan Appeal UK, Secret World Wildlife Rescue and many other conservation organisations to raise funds by auctioning her work. Emma’s beautiful, watercolour illustrations for the book were created in the style of a nature journal or sketchbook and are reminiscent of Beatrix Potter’s artwork and the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.
To arrange an interview with Ruth and Emma, to receive a copy of the book or for more information, please contact:
Shan White: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruby Tuesday Books, 6 Newlands Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 9AT
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