Lucky’s lessons on caring for animals

Lucky's Activity Book was originally created as a fund-raiser for the Mdzananda Animal Clinic.

A combination of a love for dogs and education led to the creation of Lucky’s Activity Book for children.

The book is aimed at six- to nine-year-olds with the aim of building empathy, and promoting education, but most of all, it is about having fun.

This is what the creators of Lucky’s Activity Book, Kate Boyes and Mandy Lomberg, had in mind when they released it in June.

Ms Boyes, was the illustrator of the book while Ms Lomberg was the
writer.

Ms Lomberg said they developed it together for the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha but decided to keep the copyrights. Because of this, they have been able to offer it to other organisations, such as the SPCA, as well as schools at a minimal cost.

Ms Lomberg, an ex-teacher, said the book was interactive and targeted at children in the foundation phase of their schooling.

“We chose the younger age group because there is quite a lot available for other age groups. The child has to interact with the book and work through it.”

She said the book was printed in black and white so that it can also be used as a colouring-in book. Since being released, in June it has also been translated into Afrikaans, Xhosa and is currently being translated into Zulu.

Co-creator, Ms Boyes, said: “We thought we’d like to do our own book. I was walking the dog here (in Green Point Park) and we were thinking about what to do. Another (person), who was on the board of the animal clinic, said an activity book was exactly what they were looking for. We are all dog owners and dog walkers.”

The book starts with the child filling in their picture, age and name so that they become part of the
story.

In the beginning of the story, the children find a lost puppy in the rubbish and then go on a journey to reunite it with its owner.

Ms Lomberg said she and Ms Boyes worked closely together on the book.

“It was very much a back and forth and bouncing of ideas. We’ve had fabulous feedback,” she said.

Another very important aspect of putting the book together, she says, was consultation with animal
experts.

“There were a couple of pages that we threw out and we did change things as we went along. It teaches them a lot, they have fun and because they are engaged they learn a lot more.”

Ms Boyes added: “It looks simple but there was a lot of work that went into it. It took six months to figure out what information was needed and what order to put it in so that the stories and the games flowed.

“Some of them (the activities) are really easy and some are a bit more difficult. The kids also help each other and can work together in a group. The children have loved it. They are also the heroes and they enable the story for Lucky to be saved.”

The two have also linked up with the Santa Shoebox Project this year and are encouraging schools and businesses to get involved.

The books are available for R20 each but an order of 30 or more for the Santa Shoebox will get you the book for R10 each.

For more information on the book or how to get involved with the Santa Shoebox Project, contact Ms Lomberg at 021 762 8777 or email at mandy@hero-in-my-hood.co.za.

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