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Raise a wild child

We chat to author and illustrator, Millie Marotta, whose passion for endangered animals shines through in her latest book

Today we are losing species more quickly than we are discovering new ones. And while we may be familiar with the plight of the mighty elephant or charismatic chimpanzee, there are other vanishing species whose stories are not told so often. Millie Marotta has taken on this duty – her book, A Wild Childs Guide to Endangered Animals includes beautiful illustrations of each animal, alongside their unique story. We caught up with her to find out more about her love of wildlife, and she shares an extract about the pangolin.

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About Be Kind

Hello, I can remember a time, not so long ago, when most people I know were afraid of bees. Along with wasps, bees would create carnage when innocently passing through a garden BBQ or picnic, as people dashed to safety, terrified of the striped stinging machines. Now, it seems that everyone loves the humble bumble – they’re viewed with reverence and affection, and their cute and cuddly depiction is worn on necklaces and T-shirts across the country. To say it’s been a turnaround would be an understatement, but why has this happened? Our perception of bees has had to change, but only because their crucial population is under threat and their plight has been brought into the public’s consciousness. We know that we have to protect them at all costs, or it will mean terrible things for mankind. But, how many other animals do we currently disregard, that we’ll only appreciate when they’re in trouble? How many of us look more fondly upon walruses, following Attenborough’s devastating documentary? This month we want to shine a light on non-human animals – the heroes who keep our ecosystems balanced, who help teach our children about the planet, and who bring our communities together. We share this Earth with so many creatures, great and small, all of whom are vital to our existence. But we need to begin to respect and care for them now, not just when the odds are against them. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Editor