Hollywood star Orlando Bloom has backed efforts to save the UK’s threatened butterflies by sponsoring a book aimed at helping children engage with the natural world.

Bloom, 34, who has recently become a father, has sponsored Crystal, the Small Miracle, a children’s book about butterflies.

The Lord of the Rings actor, who is currently in New Zealand filming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, said: “Butterflies are powerful symbols of the beauty and vulnerability of nature.”

Crystal, the Small Miracle, mixes fact and fiction to chart the life story of a butterfly from tiny egg to fully formed butterfly.

The “faction” book was written by Orlando’s mother, the celebrated author Sonia Copeland Bloom and is published by wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation.

Orlando, who is married to Australian model Miranda Kerr, added: “I am delighted to back Butterfly Conservation and their efforts to ensure that these wonderful insects are conserved for future generations to enjoy.

“The story of Crystal, the Small Miracle, written by my mother for children everywhere, reflects her own love of butterflies as well as her passion for children to be educated about the insect world in general.”

Sonia Copeland Bloom, from Canterbury, Kent, explained: “The transformation of caterpillar to chrysalis and then butterfly is one of nature’s greatest miracles. 

“After witnessing it myself, I wanted children everywhere to share this incredible experience.

“Too many adults do not appreciate insects and are unnecessarily scared of them and their children can be affected by this. Young children usually love little creatures - until they are put off them.”

Dr Martin Warren, Chief Executive of Butterfly Conservation added: “Sadly butterflies and moths are declining rapidly in the UK and around the world. They need our help like never before.

“I hope that Sonia’s appealing story can stimulate a love of butterflies that will inspire young people to care about their future. The world needs butterflies and butterflies need us to take care of that world.”

Crystal, the Small Miracle will be featured on ITV Daybreak on Thursday 11th August.

Sonia Bloom is also the author of the children’s book series of six published books titledTales & Truths about Garden Minibeasts which aims to spark a new interest in insects and garden creatures. The books have been published by the UK’s leading Entomological societies and have been highly praised by the Royal Entomological Society, by some of the country’s most well-known naturalists and many  primary schools and teachers.
 
 More information is available on www.soniacopelandbloom.com 

 

Crystal, the Small Miracle, is available from www.butterfly-conservation.org at a price of £5.00 or £.5.99 including postage and packaging.

It is also available from the Natural History Museum’s Book Shop, from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History’s Gift Shop, from Waterstones or online from www.amazon.co.uk

Butterfly Conservation is the largest charity of its type in the world. Its aim is the conservation of butterflies, moths and their habitats. The organisation runs conservation programmes on over 100 threatened species of butterfly and moth and manages over 30 nature reserves. www.butterfly-conservation.org

Butterfly Conservation Company limited by guarantee, registered in England (2206468).
Registered Office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP.
Charity registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268)

 

The fascinating tale of Woody the Woodlouse (who forgot how to roll into a ball) is all set to wow primary school children in Britain, as a Kent author gears up for the launch of the second in a series of informative and insightful books about the insect world.

Following the success of Basil the Beetle’s Scary Adventure, published last year, Canterbury-based author Sonia Copeland Bloom is about to unveil the sequel – introducing children as young as four to the fun which can be had when exploring the great outdoors.  As scientists the world over say  “There has never been such an urgent need to engage more young people with natural history.”

Former journalist and editor, Sonia has been fascinated by mini-beasts from an early age and devised the series of books in a bid to inform and educate young children, many of whom grow up being afraid of insects ormini-beasts, mainly because they do not spend enough time out in the countryside or in their gardens.

The books have already been welcomed by schools and Sonia is increasingly in demand to visit local primary schools to raise awareness in young children about the importance of mini-beasts, how to respect them and realise their value to us all.

Most popular too are the insects she takes with her on her visits – mainly stick insects, but also some scary hairy creatures! “This is often the first time some children have ever handled an insect,” says Sonia.

Mother to Hollywood heartthrob actor Orlando Bloom and his sister Samantha, also an actress, Sonia was keen to ensure her children knew about the importance of wildlife when they were small.
- 2 -

She said: “The world relies heavily on the wonderful work of insects and mini-beasts of every variety and humans should tolerate them and preserve their habitats in the natural world as far as possible.   If all insects were to disappear from the planet so would people!  Plants and crops would die out, causing the deaths of most of the world’s population.  

Sonia’s tales interweave a carefully-chosen mix of fact and fiction to produce captivating stories, supplemented by important facts and tips about caring for insects as pets.

The author has worked closely with the Amateur Entomologists’ Society to produce the first two books and all proceeds will go to support the society’s vital work in promoting natural history to young people.

She said: “I am hoping to open children’s eyes – and those of their parents – to the reality of the insect world and their importance to us all. I want to see children put on their gumboots for a dose of good old-fashioned fresh air and go out and find and fall in love with a beetle, a woodlouse, a slimy slug or a wiggly worm.”

The characters of Basil the Beetle and Woody the Woodlouse have been illustrated by local artist Nick Page, with additional graphic design by Margate’s Darren Gander and carry a foreword by Dafydd Lewis, Hon. Sec. of the Amateur Entomologists’ Society.

Dafydd Lewis writes: "A child's imagination is best captured at primary school age, when lifelong passions are kindled.  In this series of 'faction' books, Sonia Copeland Bloom takes an audacious new approach to engaging children with the natural world.

We hope that the series will spark a new interest in natural history among young people who will ultimately be responsible for the future of our world.” 

Woody the Woodlouse will be unveiled to local children at Waterstones, Rose Lane, Canterbury, on Thursday February 17, when the author will be signing copies, chatting about her characters and displaying her own collection of mini-beasts.

- 3 -

The national launch of Woody the Woodlouse takes place on February 26, 2011, at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, after which signed editions will be available, priced only £4.50, from the AES (www.amentsoc.org), online from www.amazon.co.uk and from selected branches of Waterstones booksellers.

For further information, please contact:
Jane Shotliff, JSPPR, Tel: (01622) 870272

 

 
“Sonia’s marvellous books have hit on the essential truth of how we first come to the wild world around us: we learn by feeling, by touching, by tasting and smelling. All my sharpest childhood memories are of escaping into the woods in search of living wonders. Sonia’s books bring back all that magic for me.” Steve Backshall, Naturalist and Explorer
“We come into this world with an innate interest in all living things. For many, the first point of contact with the natural world arrives in the form of minibeasts. These books will help fuel a passion which can thrive in each of us and, hopefully, encourage children and parents alike to continue caring about the worlds that exist beyond our own.” Simon King, Wildlife Cameraman and TV / Film Presenter
“Speaking as both a professional entomologist and a father of small children, I am extremely impressed by the series of children’s books produced by Sonia Copeland Bloom. Her fictional stories are touching and entertaining, but rooted in scientific fact. In this generation, when our children are increasingly isolated from nature, they are exactly what is needed.” Maxwell V.L. Barclay, Head Curator, Coleoptera, Dept of Entomology, Natural History Museum
“Schools need books like this that capture the imagination of children and motivate them to read. I look forward to introducing the rest of the series to our school.” Carol Townsend, Head Teacher, St Peter’s Methodist Primary School, Canterbury
“Children become interested in natural history because they are natural collectors. Collecting and identifying is a basic instinct in children. The desire to collect and classify is deep inside all of us.” Sir David Attenborough
 
 
c