Two young Mediterranean Shags, Ari and Šime, sat on a remote islet in the middle of the sea. They were talking and watching their nest friends fooling around in the water.
“Today mom and dad said that I’ve grown into a big boy and that starting tomorrow, they won’t be bringing me food anymore. I’ll start taking care of myself,” Ari said proudly.
“But are you really big enough to be on your own?” Ari’s younger friend Šime asked doubtfully.
“I’m three and a half months old! I’m big enough to fly to the shallow sea in the North, about which the older ones always talk. There are schools of fish there, easy to catch. The young ones go there to gain fishing experience and our parents go there when they want an easy meal,” Ari explained to his uninformed friend. “I’m flying there tomorrow.”
This a beginning of Ari’s story. Ari is a young shag, who takes his first journey from cosy nest on Croatian rocks to the Slovenian sea. The authors of the children’s picture book “The first journey of Ari the Mediterranean Shag”, Petra Vrh Vrezec and Kristina Krhin (illustrations) take the reader, or the listener, into the living world of the Adriatic sea, curiously comprehended by Ari on the way. His blank book is being filled with stories told by a yellow-legged gull, a tuna, a mediterranean monk seal, a loggerhead sea turtle, a black-throated diver and his more experienced congeners. He also meets a dangerous predator, the fox, but luckily, as it should be, the story has a happy ending!
Although this picture book is ment above all for children, those adults, who are easily touched by stories from nature and beautiful illustrations written and drawn for children’s soul, will enjoy it, too. Even if the story about Ari is fictious it is based on true facts from the life of Mediterranean Shags and other Adriatic marine animals, and as such it will enrich the reader with firm natural history knowledge.
The picture book is accompanied with a colouring booklet and it will be published in Slovenian, English and Italian. It will be available free of charge. An order can be made by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Because of limited number of copies, priority for ordering a larger number of copies will be given to educational institutions from the Slovenian coastal region. English and Italian versions are available only in small numbers.