Tracey Hecht on Sugar Gliders

April 19, 2016

The Mysterious Abductions, the first book in Tracey Hecht’s new middle grade series The Nocturnals, is on-sale today. She stopped by the blog to talk about pangolins

While writing The Nocturnals, it was really important to me to use the physiologies of the animals and their unique characteristics to inform and develop the characters and enhance the plot and story dynamic. The details I learned about the nocturnal world are constantly inspiring and engaging me. Here are some interesting facts I learned about sugar gliders while researching Bismark.

**Sugar gliders are very small with their heads and bodies usually measuring about 12-32cm. They are born weighing less than a gram. Despite their size, they are very energetic and full of personality.


**Sugar gliders are marsupials and are born at a very early stage of development, weighing only a single gram. They continue to grow within their mother’s pouch until maturity and are completely self sufficient in 7-8 weeks. Sugar gliders seek comfort in small dark spaces even into maturity so pet owners often have pouches for them to hide in.

(Macdonald, David W. “Marsupials.”The Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2009. 44-45. Print.)

**In the wild, sugar gliders live in colonies of about a dozen, making them very social animals.

(Macdonald, David W. “Marsupials.”The Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2009. 44-45. Print.)

**Sugar gliders’ large, charming eyes protrude from the sides of their faces, making the animal very sensitive to light, but giving them a wide field of vision and excellent night vision.

(Macdonald, David W. “Marsupials.”The Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2009. 44-45. Print.)

**Sugar gliders eyes secrete a white milky substance, which they use for grooming. They are constantly cleaning themselves and each other resulting in their luxuriously soft fur.


**Sugar gliders have a thin membrane of furry skin that stretches from their wrists to their ankles. They can use it to glide up to 100m, and can use their legs and tails to steer their glide.

(Macdonald, David W. “Marsupials.”The Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2009. 44-45. Print.)






—Formal publisher description forThe Mysterious Abductions:

“We can be bold in adventure-“

“We can be brave in challenge-“

“We can be friends.”

The Nocturnals features three unlikely friends: Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin and Bismark, the loud mouthed, pint sized sugar glider. The stories all play out in their nighttime world with teamwork, friendship and humor in every adventure.

InThe Mysterious Abductions, the animals form a brigade of the night after a random encounter with a blood-thirsty snake, and just in time because something is threatening their night realm. Animals are disappearing without a trace. Together with the help of a wombat, a band of coyotes and many others, Dawn, Tobin and Bismark journey to the depths of the earth in a wacky, high stakes game that will determine all of their survival.

—Tracey Hecht’s Bio:
Tracey Hecht, founder of Fabled Films, is a writer and entrepreneur who has written, directed and produced for film. Tracey has launched several start-ups including DoughNet, an online company promoting savings and social responsibility for kids. Fabled Films brings together her passions and interests: writing, creativity, teamwork, and entrepreneurship. When she isn’t writing and managing a business, she can be found hiking, reading or spending time with her family. Tracey currently splits her time between New York City and Oquossoc, Maine with her husband, four children and three pets—none of which are a sugar glider.

—Kate Liebman’s Bio:
Kate Liebman is an artist who lives and works in New York City. She graduated from Yale University, contributes to the Brooklyn Rail, and has shown her work at multiple galleries. She grew up in Santa Monica, California. This is her first children’s book.

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