A LITTLE African penguin who goes by the name of ‘Red’ cut the ribbon with his beak - helped by some scissors - to launch a new book by Haslemere author Tess Burrows at Birdworld near Farnham.

The book launch at the revamped Penguin Beach and talk by Tess, along with a raffle with prizes donated by businesses, raised nearly £900 for penguin conservation with the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB). The Robben Island African penguin colony – the same species is at Birdworld – has lost 90 per cent of its population in 100 years.

Soft Courage is described as “a true life fable, discovering wisdom through adventure - and the first to be written by a penguin”.

Tess said: “It turns out that penguins are very good writers! Birdworld is a wonderful place to be and very welcoming.”

Children at the event pledged: ‘I will help find shelter for the penguins’, ‘Huddle together for planet Earth’, ‘Let there be enough sardines for all the world’s penguins’, ‘I wish that we don’t harm the penguins in any way’ and ‘I wish the Antarctic is clean and the penguins are happy and healthy’.

Tess added: “We need to respect and care for our animal brothers and sisters to find harmony in our world.”

The book can be obtained from www.tessburrows.org