We Have Officially Published a Children's Book with Rebecca Gibbs

We teamed up with local artist Rebecca Gibbs to create an engaging storybook that introduces children to the complex issue of animal testing.
October 17, 2017

The Six-Foot Rats

We teamed up with local artist Rebecca Gibbs to create an engaging storybook that introduces children to the complex issue of animal testing. Rebecca is a very talented artist who is also a big supporter of us and the work we do to end animal testing in New Zealand — read more about her below.

The Six-Foot Rats tells the story of two lab rats who come to the realisation that they are being used to find treatments for humans – not for Six-Foot Rats!

The book aims to introduce children to the important, yet sensitive issue of animal testing in a light and engaging manner. Whilst this topic is a serious and often upsetting one, The Six-Foot Rats instead focuses on the fundamental truth (stressing the FUN), as discovered by the lab rats in the book: animals are not humans and it is strange and bizarre to compare the two.

We want to educate as many young Kiwi minds as possible about the important issue of animal testing with this book. 

More About the Book 

A lab rat’s job is being poked, prodded, and tested on in every way. It’s not an easy job but one rat is happy to do it...until he learns the truth!

By presenting the truth about vivisection in a fun, approachable way, we can begin to open dialogue with our children about the place of animals in our society. If we plant the seed of compassion, truth, and scientific facts, our children will grow to become better informed and empathetic to animal rights issues, especially regarding vivisection.

The book features full-colour illustrations by Christchurch teacher and illustrator Rebecca Gibbs. The characters are cute and lively and this book can be read as a bedtime story with no worries of tears or nightmares! Unlike most of the lab animals in New Zealand, our story has a happy ending (one that aims to inspire children).

The Six-Foot Rats was written for 6-10-year old's but can be enjoyed by everyone.

Why did we make a children's book?

Children are our future, together they will decide what is morally acceptable within society. It is so important that we give children as many tools as we possibly can to help them make the best moral and evidence-based decisions in the future. This was a huge inspiration for NZAVS to develop a kids book – The Six-Foot Rats.

The passing of Archie and Monty, our rescued ex-laboratory rats, was also a big part of the inspiration behind the creation of this book.  We didn't want their story couldn’t go untold. They were lucky enough to have a life after the lab, unlike so many animals in New Zealand. We want to give more animals like Archie and Monty a second chance and the best way to make this happen is by educating people.

Children of Aotearoa need to be given the opportunity to learn about animal experimentation, It is their future that will be impacted most if we do not steer our research and testing methods in a better direction.

Animal experimentation is an important issue globally, we think that this book is a must-have in all spaces where education and creating a better world is valued.

All profits from ‘The Six-Foot Rats’ will go towards our anti-animal testing campaign work. By purchasing one of these books, you will be directly helping us continue our fight to abolish vivisection in NZ as well as helping educate the young minds of Kiwi kids!

About the Author

We are lucky enough to have the very talented Rebecca Gibbs help us by writing and illustrating the book. Rebecca Gibbs is a teacher and an illustrator. She has a passion for creating stories through engaging illustrations. She currently lives and teaches in Christchurch with her rescue cat and energetic Border Collie. Rebecca’s favourite things to illustrate are animals and adventurous characters! Before studying Communications and Design at CPIT, she worked as a full-time primary school teacher both in New Zealand and overseas. Rebecca was recently a finalist in the Storylines Gavin Bishop Illustration Award 2017.

This is the first book both written and illustrated by Rebecca.

She wrote and illustrated this book for the purposes of helping NZAVS raise money to continue their work which is very close to her heart. Up until a few years ago, Rebecca believed, like most New Zealanders, that animal testing was an unfortunate necessity. After being approached by NZAVS to do some design work, she began to look into vivisection and was shocked to learn the facts surrounding its validity. Since that time, she has continued to work with NZAVS to create a picture book that would prevent children from growing up believing the same untruths she did.

With your help we can end animal experimentation in Aotearoa.