A Pocatello native has published a best-selling book that is not only entertaining many children, but it is also helping to save the lives of others.
Suzanne Hobbs, a national advocate and educator of Safe Haven Laws, recently released her first book, “The Hungry Snake.”
She is donating a portion of the proceeds to the National Safe Haven Alliance for public service announcements and other educational efforts. NSHA strives to prevent infanticide and newborn abandonment through safe haven relinquishments.
The story that was released ahead of schedule in late October has already been listed among Amazon’s bestsellers in the children’s reptile and amphibian books category.
“I’m thrilled with the early response of this book,” Hobbs said.
She adds that she believes people understand it’s not only a children’s story, but also a way to raise awareness about an important issue.
Hobbs, a former television news reporter, was instrumental in the passage of Idaho’s Safe Haven Law, which allows parents to safely surrender unwanted newborns at designated safe places like police stations, fire stations or hospitals, according to a news release.
She advocated for the law after she reported on an incident involving a newborn baby, whose body was discovered in a dumpster in Idaho Falls in 2000.
Hobbs later adopted a baby who was safely surrendered under the law.
She first started telling the story of “The Hungry Snake” to her adopted daughter, Lilly Love.
“It became a favorite of hers,” Hobbs said, adding that other children have enjoyed the story over the years as well.
Now that her book has been published, even more kids can hear the short story about a hungry snake looking for a meal. The reptile meets several animals who offer to share their food before, in a surprise twist, it finally comes across a meal fit for a snake.
“It’s not a typical children’s book,” Hobbs said, but added that kids love to hear the story, and it teaches them about sharing and being polite.
Hobbs says the book is the first in a planned series.
While all 50 states have a Safe Haven Law, the rules vary. Hobbs is currently working with NSHA in an effort to make the law federal, according to the news release.
Meantime, Hobbs hopes her story will help NSHA to raise awareness about the laws and save lives.
“I wrote this book as a way to make people aware that no newborn child needs to be left to die. Without knowledge comes fear and people do desperate things out of fear,” Hobbs said in the news release.
In a letter to Hobbs, Tracey Johnson, executive director of NSHA, expressed appreciation for her efforts:
“Your generosity will help numerous women in distress make a safe decision for their baby, which will also allow them to move forward with their lives, free from the threat of prosecution, and with the knowledge that they did what was in the best interest of their child. Countless numbers of infants will be safe and secure, in loving families, due to your effort and dedication.”
Those who would like to learn more about Hobbs and her book, can visit thehungrysnake.com.