By Annette Schottenfeld
I’m an avid believer that inspiration for stories can be found anywhere. Simple things, such as watching a ladybug scurry across a leaf, observing a good luck ritual or hearing a child’s playful banter, can spark a story idea. Practicing mindfulness is a gift we should all give ourselves. This means being truly present, so we can capture each tiny moment.
The seed idea for OBI’S MUD BATH came while I was reading a newspaper article about an actual event that occurred in Southern Africa. On a scorching day, a little rhino bull named Mark was searching for juicy greenery. As luck would have it, his snout and horn became stuck in a tire, leaving him unable to eat or drink. A team of vets came to the rescue. They calmed down the rhino and pried off the tire. Mark made a full recovery.
Drought conditions throughout Southern Africa have been an ongoing issue for both the residents and wildlife. Litter, including nets and tires that had been discarded in bodies of water, is frequently found on the dried-up banks where Mark was grazing.
After I read this article, the incident kept playing in my mind. I pictured the little rhino full of determination, exhausted and then finally free. I envisioned a picture book that could not only entertain, but also bring attention to the important topics of respecting our environment and addressing worldwide water issues. The backdrop of Southern Africa, with its rich traditions, added to the appeal of writing this story.
And, OBI was born!
Check out www.water.org o to learn more about global water conservation. A portion of book proceeds from OBI'S MUD BATH will be donated to this fantastic organization!
Annette is the author of OBI'S MUD BATH, her debut picture book, launching late 2019 (Clear Fork/Spork Publishing)
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