Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Encounter with Crocodiles--and a Great Children's Book on Kenya

Linda Weaver Clarke posted an interview with me on her blog yesterday. In it, she asked the requisite questions about my bestselling children's book, One Pelican at a Time.  Then she asked a thought provoking question:

Lake Turkana, Kenya
"Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget."

Something about the real me…hmmm. A tough one, but here goes. When I was in Kenya with my family, we were up in the Rift Valley at Lake Turkana. I try to run several times a week and wanted to run along the sandy shore. I noticed many crocodiles on the shore, sunning themselves.

Our friend, a native Kenyan, had flown us up there in his small plane. I asked him about the crocs, and he assured me they were well fed on Nile Perch in the lake and wouldn’t bother me. So I did it, and he was right. They simply slithered into the water as I ran. Would I do it again today? Probably not. But in the moment, with the sun shining and the birds calling…Well, I was in Africa, after all.

A lovely children's book on Kenya:
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola
Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement, grew up in the highlands of Kenya.
When she returned home from college in the US, she found Kenya much changed.  She helped restore it, but how?
The book, by the way, is printed on recycled paper.


  1. You never cease to amaze me. I'll stay as far away from those creatures as possible. Yes, I'm a chicken. :)

    Sounds like a wonderful book. Prety cover.


  2. The book about Kenya looks interesting, too.