Local environmentalist turns to kid’s fiction
(CNS): Teacher, environmentalist and storyteller, Martin Keeley, will be hosting a story session for young book-lovers and their parents later this month when he will also be reading from his new children’s book, "Oscar and the Royal Avenue Cats". The local author, who is Director at the Cayman Brac campus of the the University College of the Cayman Islands, where he teaches environmental science, has turned to fiction in his latest work and the adventures of a group of city cats. Previously, Keeley’s work had focused on the environment as he is heavily involved with the National Trust and has been International Education Director for the Mangrove Action Project for the past 15 years.
His initial work on developing and implementing a primary school text book, "Marvellous Mangroves in the Cayman Islands" (published in 2000), has led to mangroves being an integral part of the Year 5 curriculum in Cayman. And he has led the translation and adaptation of the curriculum to more than eight countries world-wide, from Honduras and Nicaragua to Brazil and Sri Lanka.
Keeley is currently working on the iguana census program as well as the turtle patrol and nesting analysis on the Sister Islands.
Following the success of another non-fiction book, "Fragments: Poetry and Photography" (published in 2011), Keeley began working on his first collection of short stories for children, "Oscar and the Royal Avenue Cats".
In the book every city street is home to a group of city cats, and the small street called Royal Avenue is no exception. Though the rapidly growing metropolis sprouts around it like a concrete jungle, Royal Avenue remains relatively untouched. Most of the original families moved out of the neighbourhood long ago, but one tomcat has lived there for some eighteen years. His name is Oscar and he is the undisputed king of Royal Avenue.
Growing up in a rapidly changing world has made Oscar smart and tough, a real leader. He bears scars from many battles and the other cats on the two-block street all look up to and respect him. As day fades to night, Oscar firmly puts them in their places. These are the adventures of Oscar and his merry band of Royal Avenue cats.
Keeley will be reading from and signing copies of his first collection of short stories for kids at Books & Books in Camana Bay on Saturday, 10 November.
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