Series Notes #3 -A Closer Look at Flame and Hope – Dealing with Name Calling

41 Flame with his New Neckbandcover-spread-1-flame-and-hope-paperback-low-rezcover-spread-2-friends-paperback-low-rez-1cover-spread-3-the-orphans-plight-paperback-low-rez

“An African Adventure: Flame and Hope” – Book One of “Fauna Park Tales” – is ideal reading material for youngsters between the ages of 9-12; Middle Grade, or Year Four-Six. This series tells the life story of a young pup born in the desert where he and his Nomadic family suffer a terrible loss.  This event sets a plot in motion which recurs throughout the series.  For the purposes of this discussion, I would like to show how Flame behaves when he is name-called by his enemies, and occasionally, even his friends.

Tall Leader and his gang of poachers are the first ones to refer to him as, “a skinny, hungry dog, scared of people – a mok’ger’wa” (Setswana).  Even his first master succumbs to the urge to name-call, when he wants the owner of a free-range cattle farm to adopt him, referring to the little pup as “the mok’ger’wa“.  And when he arrives at the farm in Molodi, his new master’s wife is shocked to see him and wonders whether he would be any good as a working dog, considering his “underfed, skinny condition”.  The farm’s old bull-terrier calls him a “desert dog and a nobody” and when a young martial eagle arrogantly attacks him, it’s because “you’re just a dog and I’m high in the sky.  What can you do to me?” Even one of his close friends, a young cheeky rabbit thumps that he doesn’t have a “Pedi’tree” and is not “Royal’tree” like the old bull-terrier.  So, he could never become V.I.A. of Molodi no matter how hard he tries.  On another occasion, Plump-Grump a stubborn goat, viciously hooks him with his horns when he forgets to open the red gate to their favourite grazing spot, accusing him of breaking his promise, because he is after all just a “little desert dog”, something which a nasty foe, His Handsomeness, King Rat repeats when he challenges Flame about a certain timid, rescue rat living on the porch.

These events are dramatically and sometimes hilariously told by Hope, an injured bird who lives in the highest African acacia just outside the backdoor.  Many readers, whether girls or boys, and older ones, will identify with some of these occasions.  Yet, most will be gratified to hear how Flame deals with these situations, while keeping a promise to his first mistress – caring and protecting vulnerable bush creatures, wherever he finds himself in the world.

Here follows the latest Kindle rankings for “Flame and Hope” in the store, highlighting its Top 100 positions in three categories.

“Flame and Hope” has 16 reviews on

Flame and Hope: An African Adventure (Fauna Park Tales Book 1) by [Botha, Maretha]

Flame and Hope: An African Adventure (Fauna Park Tales Book 1) Kindle Edition

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