Book to teach animal rescue

Livia, 3, and Alenie, 5, Cooke, with Molly reading the new book. Photo: Tracy Hardy.

A wax eye attacked by a gang of homeless and hungry cats, or a seagull stuck in littered polystyrene on Tauranga Harbour aren’t your typical topics for a children’s book series.

But that’s what makes Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre’s books different.

Based on true stories, ARRC encounters regularly, the books carry important messages about what children can do to help when they see an animal or bird in danger.

Book two titled ‘Wiremu and the Cat Gang’ is ready for sale, with all proceeds going to ARRC.

ARRC founder Dr Liza Schneider says ‘Wiremu and the Cat Gang’ is about how Wiremu the wax eye is attacked by some homeless and hungry cats.

“A little boy finds him with a broken leg and takes him into ARRC, where he receives care and is released once his leg has healed.”

The book is illustrated by Emma Frederickson from Akari design, who has kindly donated her time and expertise to the project alongside Kathy and Alana Broadhead, Sonya Corbet and Michael Bogalo.

Liza says one of ARRC’s aims is to help educate children about the importance of conservation, environmental sustainability, animal welfare and how these themes link.

“As a wildlife trust, primarily providing medical care and wildlife rehabilitation services, ARRC believes children’s education is imperative for a sustainable long term solution for many issues we encounter where man impacts on nature.”

The first book ‘Frankie and the Flypaper’, illustrated by Stiaan Viljoen, was published in January. There are eight books in the series, which Liza says will be released in the coming months.

Liza says ARRC is working to obtain sufficient funding so the books can be distributed to schools, with suggested lesson plans and an ARRC education officer so children can be educated about human impact on NZ wildlife.

“ARRC are looking for sponsors to help us distribute these books into schools to help spread the messages about conservation as widely as possible.”

The books cost $12.50, with all funds going towards ARRC. They will be available from ARRC at 212 Fraser St or online at