This coming July, there is a new children’s book coming out by British author Judy Brulo, to be published by North Staffordshire Press. A Griffon vulture is one of the main characters in this amazing adventure story.
Judy Brulo, a retired viola player and teacher, started writing children books for her grandchildren, as a way to interest them in reading.
She lived in Cyprus for six years, not far from the cliffs of Episkopi, where she often saw Griffon vultures swirling in the thermals. From this experience, the idea started developing to write an adventure story where Griffon vultures would have a major role.
The book’s title is 'The Revenge of the Servants of the Gods', which refers to Greek Mythology, in which Vultures were known as 'The Servants of the Gods', who carried the souls of the dead to the ends of the universe.
Written for 8 to 12-year-olds and set on an imaginary island called Ýpas Nisí - Vulture Island - the story concerns a 10-year-old boy who befriends a Griffon vulture. With beautiful illustrations by Emily Chan Moore (Foxhat), it is an exciting story, which also has a powerful conservation message behind it.
Curious? How about a sneak peek into the book?
The Trembling Earth (Part One Chapter Nine)
Luke looked up. Griff was still there, watching, circling overhead. They were almost at the top of the cliff when Andréas spotted something.
‘Oh no! Luke, we have a problem.’
‘What! What’s wrong?’
‘The cliff-edge, look!’
‘What about it, Andréas?
‘It’s sticking out... overhanging. We’re not going to be able to get onto the top of the cliff.’ (…)
(…) ‘Luke!’ said Griff. I can see the problem. I will fly down to you. I cannot hover. You must grab my talons as I sweep past you. I will pull you up, over the ledge.’
‘But we’re too heavy for you, Griff,’ replied Luke.
‘Trust me, Luke. You must trust me.’ (…)
(…) ‘Hold on very tightly, Luke.’ said Griff. ‘Here we go.’
With a supernormal power, Griff lifted Luke up and away from the ledge and out to sea. Then, swinging back inland, over the cliff top, he set Luke down safely.
‘Now, I shall go back for Andréas,’ Griff called. And he flew away for his second rescue attempt. (…)
(…) Griff glided down to Andréas. (…)
(…) Clinging on for dear life and with his eyes squeezed tight shut, Andréas was swept skywards. The mighty bird arced round and lowered the trembling boy down gently onto the ground. The friends hugged each other, sobbing with relief.
Knowing that they were now safe, Griff flew away. His work was done.
‘Thank you, Griff. Thank you,’ said Luke.
‘It is an honour for me to serve you, my friend. You were both very brave.’
We can’t wait to hear more about Luke and Griff’s adventure on Vulture Island!
Judith presented the book on the 17th of February, at the New Vic Theatre, in Newcastle-under-Lyme, an event organized by the publisher.
“As a children's adventure story, it is a very accessible read, yet it has a message. I am hoping that it will be a useful educational tool for youngsters.”
Through a beautiful bookmark, which will be produced in collaboration with the author and the publisher, the book will also be promoting VCF’s conservation work.