“The Adventure Begins” is the first in the Axol and Friends book series, which tells the story of Axol the Axolotl as they set out on their journey across the world. The adventure begins with a curious little axolotl that lived a rather lonely life until something special happened one day. Everything changed for Axol when they met Jaa the Pangolin. In an act of courage, Axol agrees to help Java return home, a trip that requires two tiny animals to get from Mexico to Thailand. Along the way, they discover the power of friendship, bravery, compassion, and empathy.
All the characters in this book are based on real endangered plant and animal species. Axolotls are a rare species of salamanders that have become an icon for Mexican heritage, found only in the central region of Mexico. They also hold a very special place in the world of scientific research and innovation. Axolotls have an unparalleled biological talent - the ability to regenerate body parts including entire limbs and organs. By studying axolotls, scientists have made significant advances in the fight against cancer, aging-related diseases, and many other issues in medicine and health.
Pangolins are bizarre yet adorable ant eaters that span select regions of Asia and Africa. While they are spread out, very few still remain. Sadly, pangolins are the world’s most trafficked animal, due to a long history of poaching. Pangolins are coveted for their scales, which have been falsely claimed to have health benefits for humans. It has been proven that there are no medicinal use of pangolin scales, yet that hasn’t stopped the illegal trade.
This book makes a delightful gift for any young kids that are passionate about endangered species as well as families looking to teach their children about unique rare animals. These books also emphasize values of human rights, social justice, and youth empowerment.
Axol the axolotl uses the gender-neutral pronoun “They/Them”.
With the input from social workers and human rights scholars, this book creates gentle opportunities for parents to open dialogues with kids about tough topics, including personal awareness of emotions, global issues of social justice including refugee displacement, immigration, and environmental crisis. Our approach invites these conversations but does not force anything - this way you can decide when and how to broach these subjects if you wish to do so.
A portion of every sale is donated to youth empowerment programs with the goal of equipping kids with the knowledge and tools to change the world! We have partnerships with local nonprofits in the regions each animal is native to, including a community organization in central Mexico and an NGO in northern Thailand. (The habitats for axolotls and pangolins respectively).
The hardcover book was printed on recycled paper and Axol & Friends plant ten trees for every book sold.