Biggleswade grandmother publishes charming children's book When the Zoo Went Quiet

'There's a happy ending and people are allowed to go to the zoo again. It shows children that everything is OK and that there's hope'

By Joanna Gravett
Friday, 10th December 2021, 11:34 am
Updated Friday, 10th December 2021, 5:37 pm

A Biggleswade grandmother has published a charming children's book called When the Zoo Went Quiet.

Veena Vasavda, 71, invites parents and youngsters to join Daisy the elephant, as the curious character explores the wildlife park to discover where all the humans have gone.

As she wanders round the empty zoo, Daisy meets up with other animals, making some new friends and interesting discoveries along the way.


Veena said: "The animals are missing people, so they decide to get out of their enclosures and make some new friends.

"They learn about each other and find out about why people are wearing masks, and why they can't visit the zoo.

"They find out why animals do the things they do, and understand that everybody is different."

Veena used to live in Chester, but moved to Biggleswade six years ago to be closer to her grandchildren.

She enjoyed taking her children and grandchildren to Chester Zoo, and her Dad used to work at London Zoo in the admin department a long time ago.

Veena said: "He used to talk about the animals to me; I love animals how they can make children laugh.

"It was fun writing the book and learning about nature at the same time.

"I used Google, but I'm also a big David Attenborough fan and watched his documentaries.

"I sent him my book and he congratulated me!"

Veena had been interested in writing a children’s story ever since she became a mum.

She used to make up funny stories, "never beginning with once upon a time", and enjoyed making the funny sounds of animals and different voices of witches, kings and queens.

Talking about her characters, Veena added: "Daisy is a very inquisitive, cheeky elephant who gets out her enclosure and bumps into Reachard the giraffe - he's very cheeky like Eddie Murphy!

"They start walking and chatting to each other about why they do the things they do - why the giraffe has a long neck, and why he has his patches.

"The animals also learn that it's OK for people to wear masks; it's for protection.

"There's a happy ending and people are allowed to go to the zoo again. It shows children that everything is OK and that there's hope."

The animal lover and author started writing the book last year, with the pandemic providing the inspiration for the storyline.

The story is aimed at six to eight year olds and is published by Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd.

Veena concluded: "I want people to know that at any age you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it."

You can buy the When the Zoo Went Quiet from Amazon, WH Smith, and Austin Macauley.