A tale of poachers, animals and how team work can solve problems is told in a colourful new book written by a Garlinge primary pupil.
Sofia Haq was just six years old when she created book Jungle Trouble – Rory’s Rescue Plan.
Now seven with her eighth birthday this month, she has finally seen the glossy, 34 page book professionally illustrated and published.
The tale follows the ‘kidnap’ of a gorilla, elephant and rhino by poachers and the plan carried out by their jungle friends to get them home.
Mum Bibi says the idea to create a story was prompted by one of Sofia’s drawings and the topic followed a trip to Wingham Wildlife Park.
Bibi said: “We went to Wingham Wildlife Park and they have a section with things sent to them by UK Border Force taken from people who tried to bring in things made from snake skin and crocodile skin, reindeer antlers and tusks.
“Sofia is a very big animal lover and she did not know about poaching until she saw these things and we told her about it.
“We went back and I took some pictures and that inspired her to write the story on this subject.
“After seeing the risks to these lovely creatures, she was sad. She chose strong animals to be kidnapped because poacher go after elephants for their tusks, gorillas for their meat which is considered as prestigious amongst some people and rhinos for their horns.”
The book also includes activities to keep youngsters occupied beyond the story.
The focus on team work is something that Sofia took from her school. Bibi said: “The book highlights working together as a team and Sofia assigned every single animal a job so everybody had a contribution to make, big or small. In her school they teach about team work so she focused on this element.”
The youngster has always been curious and independent, Bibi says, even walking at six months and attending Bright Start Nursery from 18 months.
Bibi said: “At a young age, she was curious and interested to learn things like how her toys functioned or how to put on her bibs or socks. She wanted to become independent by learning how to do things by herself.”
Sofia loves to draw, read, write and watch art and crafts videos on YouTube and replicate things she likes.
She also loves baking, exploring new places and animals – particularly her grandparents German Shepherd Boozie and two cats Machu and TomTom. She also likes Japanese anime and is even learning Arabic!
Last year Sofia created a YouTube channel Sofia’s Space where to share her activities with friends and families from all over the world.
The book took a year to complete. Once the story was written Bibi contacted illustrator Ishrat Ahmed to bring it to life.
Bibi said: “Sofia likes everything to be perfect so we would get the sketches and she would want things added or done differently. She really knew what she wanted in the book.”