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The Madison Record

Diehl publishes new book for children, ‘Little Hal’

Joan Diehl wants her new book, "Little Hal: A Pygmy Hippo in Danger," to raise awareness about the plight of this endangered animal. (CONTRIBUTED)
Joan Diehl wants her new book, “Little Hal: A Pygmy Hippo in Danger,” to raise awareness about the plight of this endangered animal. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Madison resident Joan Diehl has completed her new book for children, “Little Hal: A Pygmy Hippo in Danger.”The story line follows Hal, “a rare, endangered pygmy hippopotamus,” Diehl said. The target audience for her book is children who are seven to 12 years old, along with other readers who are concerned about the preservation of endangered animals.

In “Little Hal,” Mama Hazel tries to teach Little Hal about the dangers that pygmy hippos face in their natural habitat. “She cautions her young son that he should sleep during the day and be active only at night,” Diehl said.

“However, Little Hal can’t resist exploring his West African habitat in daylight,” she said. “As a result, he barely escapes from a hunter, nearly collides with a fierce-looking warthog and meets a dwarf crocodile that swallows its prey whole.”

Later in the book, Hal asks his mother for reassurance. “Are we going to be okay?” he says. Mama Hazel tells him they will be fine “as long as people continue to care about our survival.”

Diehl said her motivation to write “Little Hal” was “probably my 33-year-old grandson, who wishes he could have one for a pet.”

“I had never given much thought to the preservation of endangered species until I began researching this rare creature,” Diehl said. “Now, I’m dedicated to its survival. I want both children and adults to be aware of the plight of this fascinating animal.”

“Little Hal” was published by Sarah Book Publishing in Harlingen, Texas. For more information, visit sarahbookpublishing.com.

A native of Topeka, Kan., Diehl has lived in Madison since 1985. Her husband Glen is a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and veteran of the Vietnam War.

Joan Diehl chronicled their lives during the Vietnam era in “Once Upon a War: The Diary of a Waiting Wife,” published by Hellgate Press. She is a former editor of “The Madison Record.”

To contact Diehl, email to mjoandiehl@gmail.com or visit Facebook/booksbyjoandiehl, LinkedIn and the WAE Network.

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