May 7, 2020


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   
May 7, 2020

San Diego Zoo Global

Public Relations



San Diego Zoo Global Press Children’s Books Receive Top Honors from Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Awards™
Two Heartwarming Stories of Animals Honored with Gold

San Diego Zoo Global Press is proud to announce two of its children’s books were honored with Gold Awards by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) at their 32nd annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™ ceremony on May 5. Author Georgeanne Irvine’s Hope and Inspiration series children’s book “Mosi Musa: A True Tale About a Baby Monkey Raised by His Grandma” won gold in the Young Reader: Nonfiction (8–12 years) category, and author Carrie Hasler’s “Ty the Quiet Giraffe” won gold in the Best New Voice: Children’s/Young Adult category.

Celebrating excellence in book editorial and design, the prestigious IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards are regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers. The awards are administered by the IBPA, with help from over 160 book publishing professionals including librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers and editors. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s awards were presented in an online event, dubbed "The 'Shelter-in-Place' IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ Ceremony.” Winners were recognized for setting the standards and pace for the publishing industry.

“These prestigious honors validate the importance of creating poignant books about wildlife that inspire children and teach them valuable life lessons,” said Paul A. Baribault, president/CEO of San Diego Zoo Global. ”The goal of San Diego Zoo Global Press is to ignite a passion for wildlife in children and adults through our books and motivate them to care about animals and our environment.”

Mosi Musa: A True Tale About a Baby Monkey Raised by His Grandma” is a story about a baby vervet monkey who had a challenging start to life, when his mother couldn’t care for him His grandma, Thelma, stepped in to raise him and teach him how to be a monkey. It is one of four books currently available in the Hope and Inspiration collection from San Diego Zoo Global Press. The Hope and Inspiration collection also includes “Fabulous Floyd: The True Story of a Flamingo Who Never Gave Up,” Benjamin Franklin Gold Award 2019 winner “Ruuxa and Raina: A Cheetah and Dog’s True Story of Friendship and Miracles,” and Benjamin Franklin Silver Award 2019 winner “Karen’s Heart: The True Story of a Brave Baby Orangutan.” The books present heartwarming, real-life stories about animals that have overcome major challenges in their lives, and show how dedicated wildlife care specialists at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park gave them the opportunity to thrive.

“Ty the Quiet Giraffe” is San Diego Zoo Global Press’ first illustrated children’s book and tells the story of a giraffe who is quiet and beginning to feel very small, until he shows that everyone has something important to say.

Irvine, a San Diego native and a 42-year San Diego Zoo Global employee, has dedicated more than four decades of her career to raising awareness about animals and wildlife conservation. She is director of corporate publishing for San Diego Zoo Global and is the author of more than two dozen children’s books about animals.

Carrie Hasler grew up as a quiet kid who loved to read, draw and write. After many years as an elementary school teacher, she combined her passion for education, animals and stories to write books of her own. Hasler joined the San Diego Zoo Global Press team as an editor and author in 2017.

San Diego Zoo Global Press’ latest addition to the Hope and Inspiration collection by Irvine, “Saving Moka: The True Tale of a Rescue Tiger Cub,” and the newest books by Hasler­, “Tashi: A Snow Leopard Tale” and “A Wish for Pangolin,” will debut later this year.

Other books published by San Diego Zoo Global Press include works geared toward adults, covering both business and conservation-related subjects—including “The Call: The Strategic Plan that Empowered San Diego Zoo Global to Lead the Fight Against Extinction” and “Upside-Down Leadership: A Zoo Veterinarian’s Journey to Becoming a Servant Leader.”

San Diego Zoo Global Press books are available online at ShopZoo.com, and through selected book sellers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

About IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™
Named in honor of America’s cherished publisher and printer, the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™ recognize excellence in independent publishing. Books are grouped by genre and judged on merit by industry experts including buyers at wholesale and retail levels, librarians, book critics, design experts, and independent publishing consultants. Panels of 162 judges evaluated over 1,500 submissions in 54 categories to create the list of this year’s finalists and winners.

About IBPA, the Independent Book Publishers Association
With more than 3,100 members, the nonprofit IBPA is the largest trade association representing independent publishers in the United States. Founded in 1983, its mission is to lead and serve the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success.

About San Diego Zoo Global Press
San Diego Zoo Global Press is the book publishing division of San Diego Zoo Global, which is committed to leading the fight against extinction. San Diego Zoo Global saves species worldwide by uniting its expertise in animal care and conservation science with its dedication to inspire a passion for nature. Through its publishing efforts, San Diego Zoo Global seeks to inspire multiple generations to care about wildlife, the natural world and conservation.


Link includes:

  • Book cover: “Mosi Musa: A True Tale About a Baby Monkey Raised by His Grandma”
  • Book cover: “Ty the Quiet Giraffe”
  • Taped award recipient message: Georgeanne Irvine
  • Taped award recipient message: Carrie Hasler
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