About the Authors
Alison Jolly, book author. BA Cornell, PhD Yale. Studied wild ringtailed lemurs since 1963.  15 books, over 100 scientific and popular articles including The Evolution of Primate Behavior and Lucy’s Legacy. Taught at Cambridge, Princeton, Sussex.  Ex-President International Primatological Society, Officer of National Order of Madagascar, Osman Hill Medal Primate Society of Great Britain, Lifetime Achievement Award International Primatological Society, and a mouselemur called Microcebus jollyae. alisonjolly@me.com

Melanie Kirchner McElduff, book designer.
  Until 2010 designer at prestigious NYC firm of Chermayeff and Geismar, now free-lance. mcelduff.melanie@gmail.com

Dr. Hantanirina Rasamimanana, book author, teachers’ guide author. BSc Univ. of Antananarivo, PhD Museum d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris.  Studied wild lemurs since 1982.   Prof. of zoology and scientific education at l’Ecole Normale Supérieure of Antananarivo.  Directs MSc in Primate Conservation. Leads Ako Project teacher support program.  Advisor, Madagascar National Curriculum. She has written 15 scientific articles, 3 international television programs, CNN profile as Madagascar’s “Lemur Lady.” rasamitovo@gmail.com

Deborah Ross, book artist: Magazines: Natural History, New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, New Yorker. Zoos: Bronx, Brooklyn, Dallas, Marie Selby Botanical Garden. Watercolour workshops : Walt Disney Studios, DreamWorks, Pixar, Cal Arts, Malagasy villagers of Kirindy and Tampolo, and Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau. tokounou@mindspring.com , www.deborahrossart.com

What you support
AKO Madagascar

Dr. Hantanirina RASAMIMANANA has conducted a series of workshops in three rural areas, to develop a teachers’ handbook for primary schoolteachers using the Ako books and posters.  This year-long project was funded by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation www.lcaof.org/

Future projects include aid to Malagasy wildlife artists and authors, beginning with a series of art workshops run by Ako artist Deborah Ross in summer 2012


Brighton and Hove Schools have pioneered an innovative language and literacy method: “Dual Language Talk for Writing”. This involves choosing stories at a level which interest the children in English, and memorizing and otherwise exploring simplified versions in a second language. Starting from Bitika the Mouselemur and Bounce the White Sifaka, the children study English story writing and French language, and expand to the wildlife and culture of Madagascar. For more information on the B&H Teachers’ Guide to the Ako Series , contact Judy Hawker, jhhawker@gmail.com

An earlier program in Winchester Schools was initiated by Francine Dolins, now at the University of Michigan. Francine is now working with both USA schoolteachers and on lemur navigational research with the Lemur Conservation Foundation. www.casl.umd.umich.edu/index.php?id=685578

A two-day conference on Environmental Education in Madagascar was held at the University of Sussex sponsored by the Sussex Masters’ Degree in International Education, on Jan 27th-28th, 2012. This brings together many of the United Kingdom organizations with an interest in Malagasy biodiversity.


The Ako Books in China are offered to parents and to kindergartens for children aged 3 to 6. Kindergartens have more latitude in curriculum than primary schools, and can adopt books and topics which interest the individual school. A large proportion of Chinese children attend state-sponsored kindergarten, both as an introduction to schooling and as socialization for children from one-child families. English language is part of the kindergarten curriculum.

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