Hello Featured Creature fanatics! I’m going to be holding a children’s book giveaway beginning today Tuesday, November 1, until the end of the week. The final entry will need to be in before 5PM (PST) on Friday, November 4.  

Two people will walk away with an autographed copy of the incredible children’s book on Rainforests written by Rhett A. Butler, who is also the founder of Mongabay.com

To enter: simply like our Facebook fan page (here) and post a comment on the wall post I’ve created which reads – “Enter the Giveaway Contest — post a comment below!”

You just need to write 1 comment, and you can say anything you’d like! Hopefully something sweet, of course. ^-^ That’s all you need to do to enter! I will randomly choose 2 winners Friday using the site random.org

sample pages from Rainforests

Rhett shot all the photos in the book and he showcases some extraordinary animals (some have previously been featured on The Featured Creature – see here, here, and here).

Rhett has even written a guest post for us describing Mongabay and his inspiration for the children’s book. Continue reading to see what he has to say!

Rhett:   It’s an honor to be doing a guest post here on The Featured Creature.

I run mongabay.com, an environmental science and conservation news web site that has a special focus on tropical rainforests.  Why rainforests?  Well, as a child I always loved herps — those creepy, crawly frogs, lizards, and snakes (reptiles and amphibians).  And rainforests seemed to have the best herps.

This probably shouldn’t be surprising — rainforests are the among most biodiverse places on Earth.  For example, a single rainforest park in Peru may contain more species of frogs, trees, and butterflies than all of the United States.

But sadly rainforests continue to be chopped down.  It was a the destruction of two forests in particular that led me to do what I do today.  The first was a tract of Amazon rainforest in Ecuador.  Shortly after my visit, a pipeline ruptured and flooded the area with oil.  The second was an enchanting oasis of forest in Borneo, where I watched an orangutan at close range. 

Both events deeply affected me, so I started writing a book to raise awareness of rainforests and what was happening to them.  I spent three years writing the book and eventually found a publisher.  But one day I learned the publisher didn’t have funds to put pictures in the book, so instead of waiting or raising money for photos, I posted the book online for free.  That was the origin of mongabay.  Since then I’ve traveled the world to take my own pictures in rainforests and today more than a million people come to the site each month.

One of the most popular parts of mongabay is the section for kids (kids.mongabay.com), which is now available in nearly 40 languages, enabling people from all over the world to learn about rainforests.

But for me the most exciting part of mongabay is its impact. The web site has introduced the beauty of rainforests to millions of people; supported rainforest conservation efforts in several countries; and helped stop destructive projects in Africa, Indonesia, and New Guinea. My dream has turned into something bigger than I ever imagined.

Expanding on these efforts, I just released a book version of the kids site. The book, called Rainforests, includes more than 150 photos I’ve taken in places like Madagascar, Borneo, New Guinea, and the Amazon.

To help celebrate the launch of the book, The Featured Creature is giving away autographed copy of Rainforests.

I hope Rainforests can be an inspiration for you. Maybe your dream isn’t saving rainforests, but I hope my story shows that today anyone can make a difference.