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I hope you enjoy reading kid's picture books as much as I enjoy writing and illustrating them. See "Current Books" tab above for descriptions and sample pages. You can also get free coloring pages and puzzles to print out by signing up for my newsletter, Orangutans and More!  Please click on button below.

Here's a picture from my  book "Rhonda Rhino's Big Flat Feet" which is almost finished. You can see updates and new pictures by signing up for my newsletter (sign-up button above) Here's some facts about pangolins:


Most people have never heard of them. They are sometimes called “scaly anteaters,” although they are more the size and shape of an armadillo. Pangolins are covered in a hard armor of scales, displayed in a beautiful pattern of diamond shapes. They’re the only mammal with scales. Their name comes from a Malay word that means “something that rolls up.” Quite apt, since almost every picture I’ve researched shows one rolled into a ball.

Their unusual appearance has not served them well. That, coupled with the fact that they’re nocturnal, thus rarely seen, has made them victims of the Chinese medicine market. Traditional Chinese Medicine (called TCM) uses the scales just like rhinoceros horns to cure a variety of health issues. Recently, pangolin farming businesses claimed that TCM using pangolin parts could cure cancer. This caused a sharp spike in their sales price, which was obviously the agenda. In the early 1990s, they sold for $20 to $40 apiece, depending on weight, but by 2011 the going rate was $400 to $600 apiece. Because of this black market demand, it’s estimated that between 41,000 and 60,000 were taken from the wild in 2011.

The pangolin is protected against trade by national and international laws, but it is still the most trafficked animal in the world. Research estimates that more than a million have been poached from the wild in the past decade.

I’m passionate about wild animals, especially endangered species, and love researching and using them as characters in my picture books. Since my audience comprises young children, I leave out the gloomy info about wild habitat destruction, poaching, and extinction. My hope for my adult readers is that they will use their buying power (avoiding products whose manufacture/growth impacts rainforests) and their voting power (voting with an awareness of world ecology) to help resolve these problems. My hope for my young readers is only that they learn to love these wonderful creatures.

More blogs I've written about animals and being an author are at:


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Rita Goldner Books