Friday, September 12, 2008

Save the Bonobos! Book Giveaway

Until recently I has never heard of the Bonobos. Now they are my obsession. Bonobos are our closest ape relative (we share 98% of the same DNA)  and live in uniquely peaceful and matriarchal societies. 

The thing that fascinates me about them is the relationship between the mamas and their babies. Mama bonobos kiss their babies' booboos. They snuggle anxious babes to soothe them and sometimes breast feed them for as long as five years.  Young bonobos play games just like human children. They laugh when they are tickled! 

Thought to be the most intelligent primates after humans, bonobos use tools for gathering food and share their meals as a group. They don't have war and there is no infanticide (unlike Chimpanzees), all their conflicts are resolved through touch.

Amazing, right? 

Here's the bad news. In the wild, bonobos only live in the rainforests of Democratic Republic of Congo, an area that has been ripped apart by war since 1996. These gentle apes are being hunted for food right up to the brink of extinction. Scientists predict that, unless immediate and dramatic action is taken to protect the bonobos and their habitat, they will disappear in ten years. I don't know about you, my friends, but I don't want to live in a world without bonobos.

When my friend Mathea Levine learned abut the bonobos she decided to do something to save them. She partnered with nature photographer Marian Brickner and Jane Goodall  to write a children's book about one bonobo family. The book, I'm Lucy: A Day in the Life of a Young Bonobo is absolutely charming. All of the profits from the book go to the Bonobos Conservation Initiative and Jane Goodall's youth organization, Roots and Roots and Shoots!


But Mathea didn't stop there.

She and my BFF Julie Roads,web marketing genius, put together a website to go with the book that is just the coolest thing ever. The book comes with a unique password for the website. This site is the opposite of those horrible webkinz- you know, the stuffed animal that comes with a website password and when the kid goes to the website it tells them they MUST HAVE MORE WEBKINZ. This is not that.

The idea of the website is to empower kids to make a difference in the world. The tag line is "Save the Bonobo. Save the World." There's this Can-Do Meter where kids can check off tasks as they complete them- things like switching to a reusable water bottle instead of using disposable plastic ones. Kids earn points toward all kinds of cool stuff, which keeps them motivated to do more good things.

You can also adopt a bonobo! This fits in perfectly with my anti-consumerism, handmade holiday idea. 

I am so smitten with these animals and this book that I want to share it with you. I'm giving away three copies of I'm Lucy: A Day in the Life of a Young Bonobo. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below promising you'll check out the BonobosKids website when you leave here. Easy-peasy, right? 

There is one caveat- you can't post anonymously, cause if you win, I won't know who you are. 

My good buddy Random Number Generator will do the honors of selecting our three lucky ducks on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. I will post the winners names here. Winners should contact me via email at susangibbs1 AT mac DOT com with their shipping address.

Good luck!

XO


63 comments:

Cherry Lane Jane said...

What a great idea for the website to go along with the book. That would be a great ting for my kids. Thanks for the info

mydogpetey said...

What a sweet cover shot! Count me in on the contest.

Katie O said...

loading the page, as I type. what a great idea!!! :)

Christopher And Tia said...

What a fun giveaway! Of course I'll go check out the website. My daughter loves all types of animals, so she'd be really excited if we won.

adrienne said...

i have two younger nephews. book would be perfect for them. i am
heading over to the website now.

thank you.

Zoe said...

Yea for Bonobos! Heading to the website!

Vaedri said...

Too funny - I had already opened the website in another tab. :) I would love to be in the running for a book - I know the perfect wee one whose mama would love it, in particular.

cj said...

My daughter and I will certainly check out the website using the password in the book if I receive one.

Thank you,
Christine

Michele said...

My husband loves Bonobos! I will be checking out this website!

Michele

Robin Steinbeck said...

What a great way to bring kids, books and the enviroment together!!

nora said...

my own two little bonobos and i will check out the website today!

Jean said...

I certainly promise to check out the website. I've adopted several chimps over the years; perhaps it's time to add a bonobo to the family. And if you're into bonobos, check out the Great Ape Trust in Iowa. Very cool!

wierkat said...

I'm on my way to check it out right now!

LazyTcrochet said...

I can't wait to show my daughter. She's a reformed webkinz kid LOL. Thanks for posting this.

June said...

My 3-year-old granddaughter would love this! I'm going to look at it right now. Thanks for letting us know about it.

Hobbygåsa said...

I will positivly check out the website, that monkey is so cute! I'm crazy about monkeys, but have never heard about these. I cross my fingers for winning a copy - have a nice weekend!

Ulli said...

thank you sooo much for this post. i had no idea.
well, i adopted a bonobo!
thanks for the link,
hugs

Anonymous said...

I'm on my to check out the site - thanks for the info
Billie

smplfied said...

Just checked out the site - very cool - As my great-nieces definitely need to stop being Webkinz junkies, I hope to win - if I don't, they will still each get a copy from Aunt Pat!

Susan in Maryland said...

I will definately check out the website. I love primates...Jane Goodall's book about chimps had a big impact on me as a child.

TheTwistedPurl said...

Wow! What a touching blog post! I will check out the website and also blog about it, so hopefully more and more people will check it out. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. :D

Rebecca Gordon said...

Have to admit my favorite thing about the bonobos is that they are truly polymorphously pervere! It's true they resolve disputes by touch - but it's often sexual touch - between male and female, female and female, male and- you get the picture. They are a great example of the diverse sexual exuberance found in nature - and a great counter-example for folks who think my life is "unnatural!"

jenibug said...

What a lovely photo and a great idea for Christmas presents for the older grandkids that can read! Thanks for the heads up Susan.

JenLanger said...

How absolutely lovely, and thank YOU for helping to bring attention to both the book and the website.

Blessings,
BlindCrow

Diane said...

I'm leaving a comment promising I'll check out the BonobosKids website :+}

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great book suggestion. As soon as I leave here I am off to order several from Amazon to stock up as gifts.

Sandy in NJ
Pecsan114@optonline.net

JoanB said...

Count me in...

Lilea Simis said...

I would love to share this book with my kids...we humans have much to learn from other species. I will check out the site as soon as I sign off.......thanks for all you do to keep us on our toes!
Lilea

Cupcake said...

Wow what a great idea, thanks so much for bringing it to your attention, going to the website right after I send this.

Shirra said...

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing and I'm on my way!

snowbee43 said...

Susan, Thanks for raising our collective consciousness. I seem to remember this is a new species that was "discovered" recently, and folks are desperate to protect them. I'm off to the website~~~
Bev

cravingkiwi said...

I love Bonobos! This book sounds amazing! I majored in anthropology with a focus on primatology. My mother is an elementary school librarian and I'm sure I will be buying multiple copies of this book for her school as well as for myself, family and friends!

Quirkles said...

I love that you're doing this. Do you have to be a kid to enjoy and appreciate the book and website? Because I love this kind of thing!

MJ said...

It's good at least some kids are getting the message that we need to be good stewards of our world. Too many are brainwashed into consumer culture.

ms. crafty said...

What an excellent idea to help kids feel empowered and involved! I can't wait to learn more about the Bonobos.

katygirl said...

I am both a huge Bonobo fan, and a teacher, so I'd love to share the book and website with my students. Thanks for the info!

sara said...

I took my niece and nephew to the Milwaukee Zoo a couple months ago and we all fell in love with the bonobos. I will be sharing this site with them!

Katom Burke said...

i will be checking out the site and forwarding it to my 11 old sister who hopes to be a vet someday!
Kate

Jenna S said...

On my way to check out the site!
What a great idea!

Dragon said...

Me me me I want one too :)

I've got two nephews (affectionately known as Wiggle Monkeys to their auntie) who could do with being educated about their primate relatives.

Dragon

Lisa said...

Yay for primates and anything that helps them out (and yay for Jane Goodall, she's my hero)
I'm heading to the websire right now!

Susan said...

Can't wait to check out the site. It may be the perfect "goodie bag" item for my son's 9th birthday party!

goodkarma said...

Thanks for telling us about this book. I would love to have a copy; I teach second grade and am about to start teaching kids about tropical and temperate rain forests. This book -- and the accompanying website -- would be a fantastic teaching tool. Yay!

Rebecca said...

That is a great gift idea! I might have to put it on my shopping list as well.

Turtle said...

Wow, so well thought and what a great idea to have the book and website linked so! As a former school teacher (i got burnt out after 12 years of K/1) i always buy books as gifts..i will definately check it out.

JSchwa said...

My mother is a librarian...now at a college, previously as a young adult librarian. I know she would love this, but more importantly could get the world out. I, too, would not want to live in a world without bonobos, or animals in general. Sometimes..human beings are nasty to animals.

Carol F said...

My little niece will love this!

Jackie said...

My daughter and I checked out the site and thought it was great. It makes us want to buy the book so we can see more and help save the bonobos.

dreamerj said...

I've been to the site and I love the idea that our kiddos are the ones being given an opportunity to make a difference in their world. I'll be getting my grandson a book.

NSF said...

You might want to check out this piece about bonobos in The New Yorker:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/07/30/070730fa_fact_parker

Cynthia J. Kindler said...

My 2 yr old granddaughter , Lucy, would love this book. Count me in

Jenny said...

What happened to my comment? I can't see it. Maybe I just missed it, in which case I might repeat myself.

So the bizarre thing is that the day before you posted this I had this totally out-of-nowhere thought "You know, I've never seen 'Gorillas in the Mist,' I should add it to my Netflix queue," and I did. I can't remember what it was, but something made me think about apes and how totally close to humans they are, and I wanted to learn more about this, then the next day you wrote this and brought up bonobos! I want to go adopt one!

Susan said...

Jenny, any bonobo would be lucky to have you for a mom!

Kenyetta said...

Very nice website!

HODGEPODGESPV said...

even if i don't have kids or grandkids but love to read books and then share them with little ones, can i still join in? this would go well with my book about the signing gorilla! god love animal planet where you can see and learn about all kinds of animals...like a hippo raised with dogs and humans who love massages! and then ... 'scuse me...oscar, my avatar on ravelry and my latest rescue just came up for a wee cuddle. sometimes you have to pick your battles when on a fixed income...so we have picked on dogs others don't want...who just need love...right now we are down to 2. they love us and we are working on their learning to be comfortable in the world outside this house.

puddleduck

farmer sue said...

cant wait to introduce lucy to my art class! the kids will go crazy for her. she is on santas list now.

hugs from your friend in/outside atlanta
farmer sue & TheArtBarn Crew

PS: loved the can do tag line... i tell the kids here at the farm i never want to hear... i cant do it. only CanDo farmer sue - but i might need a little help from YOU.

Fanamama said...

Just added the bonobos to my curriculum for the fall! The kids will love them! Susan, keep feeding us these great ideas!
Hugs, Lisa in Buffalo

woolies said...

My 13 year old son is an animal activist, and spends hours watching the Discovery channel, and has told me about the bonobos. thanks for the link; I'm off to read more about them. ! Thanks for the chance to win!

Jean said...

OK, I'll go check out the website. If I win the book, I will donate to the local school library after I read it to my grandchildren. Thanks for the contest.

JeaninMaine on Ravelry

marian said...

i love bonobos..if only for their name! my grandkids will so enjoy the website and the book!
mini2mnm

PJ said...

Already checked out the site. Awesome!
Jen

vtknitboy said...

spvaughan is desparately trying to reach you! she's on twitter and is trying to get something to you but not too techno savvy!

celia said...

On the way to the website.. thanks for the link. My son loves his "monkeys" (which is what he calls all primates) so I'll show it to him when he gets home.