For many years, I have been planning to write books that teach children how to care for their pets - finally this dream has come true. Books can offer us so much more than entertainment. They can help us learn important life lessons, like how to look after an animal.
Kids nowadays are learning so much from technology and the Internet, but there is something special about the way they learn when reading. Young children in particular respond well to story-time with their parents and carers. My own son enjoys watching TV, but this seems to be a more solitary activity. When I take out a book to read to him, a connection develops between us: his eyes light up with excitement when we turn the pages and discuss the story and pictures.
My First Puppy and My First Kitten will hopefully show children and their parents what a big responsibility owning dog or cat can be. The story and illustrations simplify pet care to a level that the children understand, while still teaching them fairly complex topics.
Like reading, owning a pet is a family activity that needs to start with education. Encouraging children to care for their pets at a young age will teach them skills in empathy and selflessness. Even if your family is not ready for a pet, I hope that reading these books will give a child insight into what it's like to have a pet of their own.
Dr Lisa Chimes is an emergency vet at an animal hospital, known for her TV appearances in Bondi Vet. Lisa's passion for animals and their care has led her to write two picture books, My First Kitten and My First Puppy, published by Puffin Books. The books combine an entertaining story with information about selecting and caring for a new pet.