The Mysterious Case of the Sinking Flamingo

A new illustrated children’s book by water sustainability expert Cath Hassell makes understanding the urban water cycle fun!

Earlier this year, I sponsored Cath Hassell’s Kickstarter campaign to publish The Mysterious Case of the Sinking Flamingo. This fun illustrated book was conceived to inform 5-8 year olds about the urban water cycle and sustainable water use. The campaign aimed to raise £3,000 but within one month it had passed its target twofold.

The mysterious case of the sinking flamingo’ is a brilliant illustrated children’s book about why crabs hate combined sewer overflows and why flamingos love four minute showers!

Sinking Flamingo 2 Tracing Green Dec2015

The book tells the story of Frankie the Flamingo and the mystery of the rising water level in her zoo pond. Frankie’s investigations help her to understand rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment and water efficiency as she meets a number of friends on her adventure. The fabulous illustrations by Jon Evans are engaging and have a delightful range of detail which will draw in readers of various ages.

Sinking Flamingo 4 Tracing Green Dec2015

Cath Hassell is an expert in sustainable water strategies. I’ve come across her accessible articles on water use in the Green Building Magazine and on the AECB website. A key part of Cath’s work with ech2o consultants is educating children about water. She’s given presentations and workshops to some 12,000 school children over the last 7 years, but has found that engaging Key Stage 1 pupils is challenging. Frankie the Flamingo is the tool that Cath needs to captivate the younger mind.

Sinking Flamingo 5 Tracing Green Dec2015

My Kickstarter copy of the Mysterious Case of the Sinking Flamingo arrived in the post a couple of weeks ago so I read it to my niece. Nathalie is ‘nearly four’ so a little younger than the target audience. However, she loved every page. It goes without saying that she particularly enjoyed the pages where Clarence the Crab talks about getting poo on his head!

Sinking Flamingo 3 Tracing Green Dec2015

Kickstarter success has allowed Cath to give away 640 copies of the book to various schools and to develop a series of free worksheets for Key Stages 1 and 2. The worksheets continue the theme of water saving in an entertaining and educational manner. Her accomplishment has been recognised by an award from the Sustainable Water Industry Group (SWIG). Cath tells me that she has follow-up books in mind and if a publisher picks up Frankie’s story then the first sequel could be on its way.


The Mysterious Case of the Sinking Flamingo is published by ech2o consultants Ltd. and will be available on Amazon from January 2016. Until then, you can order a copy directly from the Cath Hassell at info@ech2o.co.uk for £5.99 plus P&P.

About Adam Vaughan

Adam Vaughan is an architect with a passion for low-energy environment-friendly buildings. After working abroad in Paris and Dublin, Adam returned to his native Newcastle in 2005 to join JDDK Ltd, a practice with a reputation for environmentally low-impact design, where he is now a Director.

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