Book: Walpajirri - The Legend of an Easter Bilby - The Adventures of a Rabbit-Eared Bandicoot in the Australian Desert by M.E. Skeelcategories: Book, Australian Marsupials, Animal Survival Story, Animal Love Story, Teenage Adventure Story, Australian Animal Adventure, Australian Nature, Teenage Australian Adventure, Teenage Cultural Heritage, Australian Cultural Heritage, Australian Folklore, Easter Bilby
M.E. Skeelabout this book: My first ebook is about a Bilby, also known as a Rabbit Eared Bandicoot. This is a rare and endangered marsupial that many Australians would like to see replace the Rabbit as our Easter animal. This is because rabbits are introduced pests here and we need to educate our children about our endanged species, so that they want to preserve them.
I didn't come up with the original Easter Bilby idea but I believe that my book is a valuable tool in spreading the idea of an Easter Bilby instead of bunny. My book is different than other Easter Bilby books I have seen because my bilby is not a human being dressed up as an animal, it is not an anthropomorphic construction.
My book is a real-life adventure, a survival story, of a true bilby. Jirri's life is explored from birth to pouch, to following and learning from his wise mother, to his wandering in search of a mate, to his Easter connection and on through his life. He faces fires, floods, droughts and predators and survives. It is a powerful story of survival and triumph against the odds.
I first self-published this story the hard way back in the 1990's before I knew anything about ebooks (I live in the Bush - technology comes later to me here). It took me months of research, writing and editing and then paying to get it printed. What I couldn't do successfully at the time was the marketing. Still, there are a thousand copies out there somewhere. But I gave up on being a paid author at the time and became a High School Science Teacher instead for the last 20 years. Now that I am semi-retired, I decided to republish it, because I want to reach a wider audience. I want young people all over the world to know what a Bilby is and why it is important to protect the species.
I have been a wildlife rescuer and rehabber for over 40 years now. Although I've never known a bilby personally, I have had experience with other kinds of bandicoots. I believe my book is as biologically accurate as I could make it, both from research on what is known about bilbies and my personal experiences with similar marsupials.
Besides which, it's a good story, a love story, an adventure story and a survival story. I wrote it with Young Adults in mind but I have had a lot of adults of all ages tell me they enjoyed it and learned from it.
Back in 1994, I got a letter from two 12 year old girls whose teacher had read the book to their class. They were inspired to write their own stories; they were touched by Walpajirri's struggles and unrequited love; they identified with him and they learned so much about bilbies in the process. That is why I write. For young adults like these girls.
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Other books by M.E. Skeel
• Book Review: Platypus Dreaming - The Adventures of One Lucky Platypus and Her Friends by M.E. Skeel|
• Book Review: In Search of Me - Australians story of the roaring 1970s of free love and romance by Robert Morrice|
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