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Hunter authors and illustrators unite to save our fauna

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Over the past 200 years Australia has lost 34 mammals – about the same number as the rest of the world combined.

In a bid to save our nation’s fauna from further extinction, a group of Hunter-based authors and illustrators have penned Slippery, Slimy, Feathered and Furred.

The book, aimed at seven-to-12-year-olds, was launched in Newcastle on Wednesday (15 December).

Featuring a collection of fictional tales about local, vulnerable native fauna, the book’s creators are hoping its readers will be spurred to action.

“It’s so important to educate our children around these issues,” says author and early childhood educator Emily S. Smith.

“Children have the passion and empathy to be active change agents of the future. 

“The stories in the anthology are a brilliant way to educate our children in an engaging way, while showcasing the talents and skills of local Hunter authors and illustrators.”

The junior fiction anthology is designed to raise awareness and promote action to help protect vulnerable Australian wildlife. 

More than 100 different species have become extinct in Australia since colonisation, and more mammals have been lost in that time than any other country. 

This project was organised by Hunter Writers Centre who obtained funding from

Create NSW to support the Arts sector which has been heavily impacted by COVID-19.

“We wanted a project that could engage a large number of local creatives and we are thrilled to see 32 people behind this anthology, including First Nations creatives,” Hunter Writers Centre director Karen Crofts said. 

“It’s a wonderful educational resource for families and schools. A book of fiction stories and fun facts to entertain and educate.”

Slippery, Slimy, Feathered and Furred brings together established Hunter authors and illustrators as well as some up-and-coming local talent. 

Each author has paired with an illustrator to share the story of a specific vulnerable Australian animal. 

The group’s hope is that children will develop an emotional connection with the animals, and become invested in their survival.

The book includes stories written by Jess Black (author of the Bindi, Animal Tales, and Little Paws series), Candice Lemon-Scott (author of the Eco Rangers and Jake in Space series), Kelli Hawkins (author of The School for Talking Pets and Other People’s Houses), Lynn Jenkins (author of the Lessons of a LAC series, What if… and Ollie’s Treasure), and Emily S. Smith (author of Garbage Guts and How to Hug a Cactus). 

The illustrators include Kirrili Lonergan, Liz Anelli, Gwynne Jones and Linda Lunnon.

Slippery, Slimy, Feathered and Furred is published by Hunter Writers Centre and can be purchased online from Amazon or Booktopia or ordered through any good bookstore.

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