How it came to be
The idea for Agga came to my mind during the peak of the first Covid-19 lockdown. Staying at home day-in, day-out, I spent more time reading children’s books to my toddler and had some free evenings to contemplate ideas.
As an animal lover, father of little children, and writer, I felt that there are plenty of books about pets and farm animals, but much less about wild animals, and almost none about species that are not commonly liked. I firmly believe that every species on this planet is impressive, and our prejudice against certain animals is sustained through myths, superstitions, and ignorance.
So I began exploring different species, traits, and behaviors and became mesmerized. I sorted out the characteristics around which I could build a story narrative that would appeal to children and reached out to experts.
In order for the books to be considered to have educational value, I was happy to collaborate with experts who have decades of experience researching and conducting fieldwork with different species.
The Ngorongoro Hyena Project and the Crocodile Research Coalition played an essential role in shaping the story narratives and provided consultations throughout the illustration process.
Additionally, thanks to the partners' connections with local communities where they operate, copies of the books have been distributed to children living close to these species.