THE TURKS and Caicos National Trust has published an illustrated children’s book aimed at educating youngsters on native wildlife.

The launch of the colourful book took place at Providenciales Library in Downtown Providenciales on Wednesday morning (November 6).

During the event, representatives from the National Trust and local environmentalists said the books will supplement curriculum content in schools.

They added that they will also encourage children to have a deeper sense of appreciation for and commitment to the country’s heritage.

The book ‘Sarai Saves the Cay’ features an interesting story about the preservation of the endemic rock iguanas and their habitat, with vibrant eye-catching illustration.

Author Nadidja Parker said the book simplifies the conservation of iguanas for children, to help spread awareness about protecting the species.

“I got the opportunity to go to Little Water Cay and have some background information into the project, what type of research they had.

“That kind of helped my process of writing and directed it in a way that I can simplify for the kids we’re writing to.”

She said she thought back to when she was a young girl and what she liked to read, adding: “I just wanted something that I would like to read myself.

“I feel like everyone can enjoy part of the environment, whether it’s the sunset, trees…nature and I feel like it’s so important for us to respect it and do what we can to protect it, especially in a world where we have global issues like rising sea levels and climate change – we have species of animals going extinct.

“So I think it’s really important for us to do our part in little Turks and Caicos Islands, especially to protect what we have.

“So much of what makes us unique and what makes us marketable is our environment and our nature,” Parker said.

The book which breaks down the ‘dos and don’ts’ for visitors who travel to Little Water Cay was illustrated by Alizee Zimmermann.

Little Water Cay is an interesting tourist attraction and one of the TCI’s prime nature reserves.

This small island or cay is home to the few remaining rock iguanas that used to cover most of the islands in the TCI.

Zimmermann said illustrating a children’s book was a new and exciting challenge for her.

“I thought about a few different styles and I started going with one style that was much more realistic and complex.

“I thought for kids, no. Bright pops of colours, really bold lines and that’s kind of how it came about.”

‘Sarai Saves the Cay’ is now available for purchase at the TCI National Trust office in Grace Bay, Providenciales.

A second book ‘Our Land, Our Sea, Our People’ discusses the environment, people, the national parks and culture.

At the launch a man-sized iguana mascot entertained school children in attendance.

By Olivia Rose/ TC Weekly News/ Nov. 9, 2019 issue