New Picture Book Has Remarkable Artistry in Teaching Kids Conservation

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“Hey! Meet Our Friends” has a heart, warmth and vibrancy that achieve author Christina McCarthy’s objectives with flying colours.

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Hey! Meet Our Friends, Volume 1: From the Sea is a new picture book that exudes warmth and vibrance in its illustrations – and a sense of perspective about humans in relation to nature, one that acknowledges their place in nature’s scheme. It is balanced by author Christina McCarthy’s stalwart rhymes – a pride in human intelligence in the way she describes natural beauty and diverse things. Coincidentally, McCarthy also illustrates this book – her words and picture achieve a perfect meld for her young audience.

McCarthy starts simply, from the humble perspective of a lone woman standing on a mountain’s rocky tip, surveying the vast sea or ocean:

“If I stand on a mountain
And look out to sea
It goes on forever
Or so it looks to me”

One needs to have the book at hand to get the idea of the enthralling, captivating grace of McCarthy’s picture book. One, optionally, also needs to know about the nature of kids. Frankly put, children will take to this volume like ducklings about to turn into swans – a net effect. Wisely, Christina McCarthy has distilled the essences of her long experience of children into a digestible, even spiritual ergonomics. Comfort and connection are easy things to be had when children read Hey! Meet Our Friends.

The tonalities in this work are all upbeat – from colours, drawings, to metric verse. It is not an easy thing to accomplish. McCarthy displays sanguine expertise in her deft touches that refuse to overdraw or oversay. In her witty descriptions of the ocean’s wild creatures, a demystification takes place, but one that has been balanced beforehand by the knowledge that humans do not “rule” but cooperate with nature and its creatures for harmony, for knowing that humans belong – it is this that McCarthy carefully draws for her children in the book’s remarkable entirety. Most importantly, she reminds everyone concerned to–

“…put plastic and fantasy away for a while, and introduce children to our natural world. These stories are to encourage children to research more, and to learn how precious the habitats of animals are. It is a first step towards a knowledge of conservation that will last a lifetime.”

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About the Author
New Zealand is a long way from England where my three grandchildren live, after my son married an English girl and they settled in Manchester. I did not want them to lose touch with me, so I have been sending little stories with a letter, first to Francesca (now 4 years old), then Jessica (2 years old) and now when Sebastian is a year old I will try to think of another theme. I write and illustrate all the stories, and it seemed a great idea to then put the stories together so that other grandparents, like me, or parents can introduce children to the world of conservation. There are lots of habitats to come.

Hey! Meet our Friends * by Christina McCarthy
Volume 1: From the Sea
Publication Date: July 19, 2013
Picture Book; $39.99; 36 pages; 978-1-4836-6292-3
eBook: $3.99; 978-1-4836-6293-0

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at 0800-443-678. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (09) 353-1455 or call 0800-443-678. For more information, contact Xlibris at 0800-443-678 or on the web at

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