Saturday, February 19, 2022

My Animal Family by Michael Botur - Book Tour & Review

 My Animal Family by Michael Botur Picture Book, 20 pages. Illustrated by Emma Weakley and Michael Botur Book available here: Kids, it’s time to meet distant relatives you never knew were in your family… ‘My Animal Family’ is for every child amazed to learn humans are actually animals. This illustrated children’s book teaches you about your place in the natural world and reminds us we need to give all creatures great and small the same respect as human beings. Your guides to the phylogenetic tree are Abe and Violet Botur – two Homo sapiens siblings with a love of nature. Join two Kiwi kids as they find out how all life is related and meet many of our distant relatives, from Ape to Zyzzyva! My Review My Animal Family is a children's book that aims to teach kids about how humans are related to animals. How were all connected in some way. Using scientific terms/language, the book showcases different animals/species while explaining how they're unique. The book also aims to be a bit silly at times. While I liked the book and thought the illustrations were nicely done, I do think it was written in a way that will be a little more difficult for younger readers to really understand or get through. I'm all for using this book to educate and open dialogue with young readers about animals/humans and science, but its definitely a book that isn't really meant for a casual read-through by younger readers. I was also a little surprised that the author poked fun at himself and called himself fat with a beer belly. Maybe a bit awkward for a children's book, but I do know there will be kids who find that sort of thing funny. Overall, it's a nice introduction into educating kids about the animal kingdom and scientific terminology, but it's also a bit too advanced (I think) for younger readers to fully grasp on their own. 3.5 stars.

About the author

Botur is author of four acclaimed indie short story collections and one collection which hardly anybody read. He published the novel Moneyland in 2017 which has had thousands of reads on Wattpad and in 2019 is publishing the novels Crimechurch and Moneyland: Payback.

Botur holds a Masters in Creative Writing degree from AUT University and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism Studies from Massey University, as well as degrees in arts and literacy. Botur makes a living from writing as a columnist, corporate communications writer, blogger, advertising writer and journalist.

Botur has published creative writing in most NZ literary journals and has won various prizes for short stories and poems since beginning writing in 2005. He has been making money from creative writing since the age of 21 and was in 2017/18 included in collections put together by University of Otago (Manifesto 101) and University of Canterbury (Bonsai: Small Fictions.)

Botur has published journalism in most major NZ newspapers and magazines including New Zealand Herald, Herald on Sunday, Sunday Star-Times, The Spinoff, Noted, Mana and North & South.In 2017 Botur launched the only online ‘gallery’ for NZ short story writers,, where he makes much of his published work free to read and download.

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