"Do You Know Your ABZs? About Brevard Zoo" showcases all that the zoo has to offer
By Meagan McGone
BREVARD - To say that the Novak family loves the Brevard Zoo would be a bit of an understatement.
The Novaks have visited the zoo at least 10 times each year since moving to Viera from Michigan in 2004. And now, the family of four has a book to show for it.
"Do You Know Your ABZs? About Brevard Zoo" is a joint effort between Marna Novak, a kindergarten teacher at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne, and her husband, Bill. The book follows the couple's youngest daughter, 7-year-old Briegan, on a journey through the Brevard Zoo.
"The concept of the book is learning phonics by following Briegan through the zoo," Mrs. Novak said. "A lot of kids that read this have been at the zoo, so when they see these pages, they are going to remember doing these things, and they should really be able to relate to the book."
Mr. Novak said that the book, which features colorful photographs and clever phrases, reflects the many attractions offered at the Brevard Zoo.
"The zoo here has so much to offer, and it's amazing what they have and what they've done," he said. "We've had annual passes since we lived here, and we wanted to showcase the zoo."
Mrs. Novak said she wanted to write a book about the zoo for a long time, but finally decided to move forward with the project once the zoo opened its Treetop Trek, which is the family's favorite attraction.
"I needed a 'Z' page," she said. "So when Brevard Zoo added the zipline, I knew that I could use 'Z' for zipline."
"Do You Know Your ABZs? About Brevard Zoo" is not the first book created by the Novak family. Mr. and Mrs. Novak wrote a similar book about their local zoo in Saginaw, Mich., titled, "My ABC Walk Through The Saginaw Children's Zoo," about eight years ago.
"We started the book in Michigan with our oldest daughter, Sydney, in it," Mrs. Novak said. "She was 4 at the time and super afraid of animals, so it was a good way to introduce her to them."
Mrs. Novak said that creating both books were fun family projects, and she would love to take on more in the future.
"I think that writing children's books is a teacher's dream, because we're constantly reading all of these books to our students," she said. "I've always loved writing. It was always my favorite thing to do in school, and I would love to write more books in the future. It would be fun to travel from zoo to zoo and make different books."
She said that throughout the year it took to create and publish the book, she enjoyed bonding with her family the most.
"Any chance we have to spend time together with the family is a bonus," Mrs. Novak said.
For more information, visit www.brevardzoobook.com.