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  • Writer's pictureShugar Print

The Rat Pack

Updated: Aug 31, 2019

There is no doubt that the reason we produced this fun educational book was to make the lives of children have better safety in home. We wanted to encourage them to think of safety and consequences before doing anything.

After deciding on the 14 scenarios we wanted to highlight, (and more than half of them came from local parents and relatives with children) we were then faced with producing 28 illustrations. The first one showing the potential hazard and the second showing the consequences in other words ‘What can happen’

We decided the best way to do this was to enlist the help of local children, nieces nephews and grandchildren. What fun we had in the process. For example the lovely cover of our book. The four subjects crossing the road, totally distracted and oblivious to any traffic were four local children we fondly refer to as ‘the rat pack’. Thats them on the cover Of these enterprising youngsters two were born in Samoa and two born in Poland, they came as a group to our door asking if we had any rats we needed catching. Of course we have no rats! of course not, actually everyone has rats but we don't always know It.

We didn't use them for the rat catching but they did car washing and later we showed them how to make rubber latex moulds and produce concrete frogs. As a group they did this and all were involved in the expert painting of them. when they had built up enough completed frogs, under their parent supervision they sold them all around the neighbourhood.

Now in conjunction with this, when any young person or older, comes to our door sooner or later the subject of ukuleles comes up! It was not long before they were all becoming quite Adept at strumming and singing to the point where we took the sausage sizzle stand at our local Mitre 10 to raise money to buy ukuleles for the Rat Pack. What a great day we had, Michelle and both sets of parents barbecued and served sausages all day long while the children and I strummed and sang. One lady gave a $10 donation for the children's rendition of ‘Hallelujah’.

We raised sufficient funds for for ukuleles and tuning devices! Thank you Mitre 10 Mega. It was Donna, the girl’s mother, who had suggested the ‘crossing the road without due care and attention’ scenario, the cover illustration. This was obviously staged as was the almost deadly outcome with the electric vehicle sliding silently past them, interrupting their Reverie and causing the huge panic so apparent in their faces in the ‘outcomes’ illustration.

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