Biggleswade’s grandmother has published a charming children’s book called When the Zoo Was Quiet.
Veena Vasavda, 71, invites parents and kids to join Elephant Daisy, as the quirky character explores a wildlife park to discover where all of humanity has gone.
As she wanders through the empty zoo, Daisy meets other animals, making new friends and making interesting discoveries along the way.
“The animals are missing, so they decided to get out of their barns and make new friends,” said Vena.
“They learn about each other and find out why people wear masks, why they can’t visit the zoo.
“They discover why animals do the things they do, and they understand that everyone is different.”
Veena used to live in Chester, but moved to Biggleswade six years ago to be closer to her grandchildren.
She enjoyed taking her children and grandchildren to Chester Zoo, and her father even worked there in the management department for a long time.
Vena said, “He was talking to me about animals; I love how animals make children laugh.
“It was fun writing the book and learning about nature at the same time.
“I’ve used Google, but I’m also a big fan of David Attenborough and I’ve watched his documentaries.
“I sent him my book and he congratulated me!”
Fina has been interested in writing a children’s story since she became a mother.
She used to make up funny “never started” stories, and she enjoyed making out the funny sounds of animals and the different voices of witches, kings, and queens.
Speaking of her characters, Veena added: “Daisy is a very curious, rude elephant who goes out her box and bumps into Richard’s giraffe – he’s just as rude as Eddie Murphy!
“They start walking and chatting to each other about why they do the things they do — why the giraffe has such a long neck, why it has its patches.
“The animals also know that it’s OK to wear masks; it’s for protection.
“There is a happy ending and people are allowed to go to the zoo again. You show the kids that everything is OK and there is hope.”
The author and animal lover started writing the book last year, with the pandemic as the inspiration for the storyline.
The story is aimed at children between the ages of six and eight and is published by Austin McCauley Publishers Ltd.
“I want people to know that at any age you can do anything you want if you take care of it,” Veena concluded.
You can buy When the Zoo Went Quiet from Amazon, WH Smith, and Austin Macauley.