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About Maretha Botha
Author/Illustrator Maretha Botha admits to being addicted to a good espresso and a fruit&nut chocolate bar. Having a barbecue, gardening and bird watching are favourite past-times for her and her family, especially during the short Lancashire summers.
She has published an award-winning, illustrated series of animal and bird adventure books (1-4) for Middle Grade Readers called, “Fauna Park Tales”, available as eBooks and black&white illustrated paperbacks.
One of her latest releases is a short story, “Saving The Evergreens: Garden Secrets” - a fantasy for those who still let their imagination take flight in the undergrowth.
As part of her book club’s challenge she also published two short stories called, “Lost Time” and “Lost And Found” - part of a W.I.P. series, “Family Ties”.
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This is a story of envy, passion and the consequences of decisions made in the heat of the moment, taking a second chance to be happy.
Young and old - especially those of us who love the environment and its many amazing creatures - will enjoy getting to know more about the fragile life in the undergrowth, and perhaps, be reminded of our responsibility to care for our immediate environment, which might be just beyond the garden bench.
Note to readers: If you downloaded a copy before today, 30th June, please contact me. I've added extra illustrations.
Life continues to take strange turns for Flame, a working dog on a free-range cattle farm. He and three of his furry friends follow the trail of Tall Leader and his gang of poachers into the desert, after they kidnapped their beloved orphans and stole all the villagers’ cattle. To follow their enemies’ trail, the brave friends jump on and off trains, sleep under the stars, and find friends and foes while on their dangerous mission. Their loyal feathered friends - a martial eagle and a female eagle owl - are their scouts, helping them whenever they get lost, which is often. All the characters – both human, and furry and feathered – strive to reach the last waterhole at the Tukani River as soon as possible. Here, a cattle stampede, heroic deeds, finding long-lost family and solving secrets happen in quick succession.
Hope’s Memories” – is a backstory summary of book three, “The Orphans’ Plight: An African Adventure” and gives the reasons why Flame and his friends are on this risky mission.
Young and old will enjoy reading more about the African desert, how to survive its harsh climate and appreciate the importance of friendship, especially when facing difficult challenges.
LIFE takes unusual turns for a Nomadic family and their animals, including a young pup born faraway in the African desert. Due to sudden, strange events at their kraal, he is adopted by a free-range farmer to herd cattle in Molodi Valley. The pup, whose Faunalang name is Flame, faces many a challenge to prove himself to more than one of his new family. Yet, in time, he grows into a strong and brave dog, making friends with many furry and feathered ones, who help him to keep a promise to his first mistress to care for and to protect young, old and helpless bush creatures in their secret sanctuary – Fauna Park – within the farm’s boundaries. One of his feathered friends is Hope, a shy bird with pink eyelids, who whistles stories about a tall leader and his gang of poachers, the ups and downs of life in the bush, Flame's clever and often, comical plans to banish foes to the Llokodi Hills, and why it is better not to break a promise to a stubborn goat.
ALTHOUGH many of these classic stories provide perfect bedtime reading to younger ones, all readers and listeners will enjoy meeting various bush creatures who hope that all ends well when the sun goes down over the grasslands of Southern Africa.
Loyal furry and feathered friends support working dog – Flame, also known as Jack Old Boy – in his quest to care for and protect helpless, young and old bush creatures. Flame has sniffed certain bad humans in Fauna Park, and when these bad ones try to harm two small humans for their own gain – they are orphans, and one of them speaks Faunalang, a useful skill when cattle need to be kept calm when driven across the desert – Flame and his friends decide to take matters into their own paws and claws and help the young orphans. An old human friend and his dog have also arrived in the valley, and they carry an important letter – a letter which might explain the bad ones’ interest in the young orphans. At the same time, they realise that the villagers’ cattle theft is also connected to this incident. After an urgent chit-chat, they follow clues which lead them to jump on to a moving train to the north of the country. Initially, the good humans are misled by false clues, but finally they realise their mistake and get ready to follow Flame and his friends’ tracks leading into the Kalughari, a large thirst land.
These stories are part of a collection of animal and bird adventure stories, a classic survival adventure, which young and old will enjoy reading and/or listen to.
"A vivid and engaging world of animal characters . . . the use of cleverly animalised verbs is very creative – Dolly Cat's 'whispurr'. The exploration of interrelationships between animals is a very successful topic in the children's literature genre, and you have created some great personalities – the stubborn goat 'Plump-Grump' and the conceited 'His Handsomeness, King Rat' being some of my favourites . . ."
Life takes strange turns for Flame, a puppy born in the African desert. Adopted by a free-range cattle farmer, the pup faces the challenge of proving himself to more than one of his new family.
As Flame grows into a strong and brave dog, he finds friendship with many loyal furry and feathered friends who teach him to keep The Promise – protecting the helpless ones in Fauna Park, a secret sanctuary within the boundaries of the farm. This ordinary desert dog becomes a hero when, to keep his promise, he saves a zebra foal from a fire.
These stories are perfect to be read before bedtime to younger children. Preteens will enjoy escaping into an imaginary world where many bush creatures always have hope that everything ends well when the sun goes down.