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Book details
  • SubGenre:Travel
  • Language:English
  • Pages:70
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9789966176059

The Chameleon Who Went to the North Pole...almost!

by Mary Epsom

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Who would have thought that a little creature called Mugia would become the most well-travelled female Jackson's chameleon in the world? In 1966 a little boy called Paul found her in his garden in Nairobi just before he and his family set off on a three-month holiday in Europe. Disobedient as always, he ignored his mother, Mary's, order to "leave her there and hurry up", and smuggled her on board the plane to London. Based on the true story about an actual journey, Mugia relates her escapades as they travelled thousands of kilometres, visiting nine countries and finally reaching the Arctic Circle, and subsequently returning safely to Nairobi. During the journey, she was always snug in her cardboard box and mostly caught her own food with her long tongue, whilst sitting on Paul's hand or shoulder. Paul died in a car accident in 2014, and The Chameleon who went to the North Pole… almost! is dedicated to him. This is the first book by Mary Epsom, who was a well-known Nairobi kindergarten teacher for many years, and therefore ensures each chapter is both interesting and educational. The colourful illustrations are by Samira Matthews. A lovely stocking filler - or birthday present - for children aged 6-12

Mary Epsom has written her first book for children. "The Chameleon who went to the North Pole…almost!" is based on a true story about Mary's son Paul when he was a little boy in 1966. As a typical Kenyan boy, Paul always had a snake in his pocket or a chameleon on his shoulder, and Mary's delightful story for children, tells how, on the flight to Europe on leave with the family, Mary saw to her horror, at 32,000 feet above the Sahara Desert, a chameleon walking across the back of Paul's seat in front of her. There was no alternative but to bring the little chameleon, who Paul had named Mugia, along with them for the rest of the holiday. The book relates the stories of the family's 17,000 miles journey through Europe, visiting nine countries as far as the Arctic Circle, as seen through Mugia's eyes. The little chameleon proves to be helpful in getting the family through tricky situations. The book is both an enchanting memoire of a happy family holiday in Europe in the 1960s in the company of a charismatic little chameleon, and a nostalgic reminder of the freedom of travel in the days before airport security and border controls (and although Mugia was put into her own shoe box when the family went through customs, Mary strongly advises children not to try this trick today!) Paul died in a road accident in 2014 and "The Chameleon who went to the North Pole…almost!" is dedicated to him. With delightful colour illustrations by Samira Matthews, this makes a very special Christmas stocking-filler for children aged 6 – 12 years old.

About the author
Born in Rio Tinto, near Huelva in Spain. Married Bryan Epsom in Gibraltar in 1946. Moved to Nairobi, Kenya in 1950. They had three sons, the youngest of whom tragically died in a road accident in 2014. A Froebel Foundation trained teacher, she started a kindergarten in Nairobi and eventually owned and managed three kindergartens with a combined capacity of 400 pupils. In 1973, with five other Headmistresses, the Kindergarten Headmistresses' Association was formed and in 1977 the Teacher Training section went into action. 60 years of experience in early education and teacher training was recognised by President Uhuru Kenyatta with the highest civilian award of Chief of the Burning Spear [CBS] in 2017. A life member of Muthaiga Country Club, Nairobi.

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