A former Leavesden County Park ranger has released a children’s book which celebrates the history of the park.
Ranger Jess Hodges has published her first children’s book, The Very Puzzled Monkey Puzzle Tree, telling the story of Martha, the titular monkey puzzle tree.
Through the book Jess is hoping to educate children on trees including the park’s famous monkey puzzle trees.
Jess who has now taken on the role of Community Biodiversity Officer at Three Rivers District Council said the book originated from her curiosity in the difference between female and male monkey puzzle trees.
She said: “The story follows Martha’s questions, she is very puzzled. She stands in the park every day and people make comments about her – about her being spikey and how she looks different to the other monkey puzzle trees. The park ranger is taking a group of children around and tells the story of the monkey puzzle trees and answers these questions for Martha.
“As well as telling people about these fantastic prehistoric trees, I wanted to highlight the natural history of the site.”
The book has been illustrated by Hertfordshire artist Leanne Coelho – whose colourful and characterful images capture the spirit of Martha.
A free copy of the book is available at local libraries including Abbots Langley library.
An e-edition can be read online at www.threeriversleisure.co.uk/the-very-puzzled-monkey-puzzle-tree