Larry Saves the Prairie by Matt Bergles

Larry Saves the Prairie Cover

Children’s Book 
Date Published: September 1, 2015

Through the voices of Annabelle and Angus, discover what almost happened to wildlife on the Kansas prairie. When Larry receives a letter that says he must destroy the prairie dogs on his land, he and some of his neighbors join together to make certain that all wildlife remain unharmed. Not only were black-tailed prairie dogs at risk of destruction but the already-endangered black-footed ferrets were at risk of becoming extinct. 


In Larry Saves the Prairie, with the help of Annabelle and Angus, you’ll discover what it means to be a true hero, and most especially, what it took to save prairie wildlife in Kansas.


Tell us about this story.

This is a story of bravery. A story of one man who stood up for what he felt was right and prevailed. He did it all legally, ethically and morally too. It is also a story of our nation’s natural heritage – wildlife – and what we as a society need to do to change our attitudes about it and treasure it for the precious gift it is.
What living person do you most admire?

The living person I most admire is Pope Francis. I admire him not just because he is arguably the most well-known person on the planet, but because he uses his notoriety to bring attention to the poor, the downtrodden, the abused and the marginalized. This includes the earth itself and all of the non-human creatures that dwell thereon.

What is your most prized possession?

My most prized possession is my health. Although I am getting older and am beginning to feel the aches and pains of the aging process, after surviving cancer for three and a half years, I am very aware of my fragile human mortality and I recognize that I am truly living on borrowed time. Therefore, I am in a constant state of gratitude, prayer, positive thinking and expectation for assistance to lead a good life, however much longer that may be.
Which talent would you most like to have?

Musical ability. I would most like to be able to sing and play the guitar and piano masterfully. I am an average drummer, but I do not read music and am pretty much tone deaf.
Who is your favorite fictional character of all time?

Dirty Harry Callahan.
Who’s the favorite character that you created?

Actually, there are two, Angus and Annabelle, the black-tailed prairie dogs who tell the story of Larry Haverfield and the prairie ecosystem in the book.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

Being content with who you are, where you are and what you are doing.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would be more outwardly joyful, positive and gregarious. 


Matt Bergles is a Colorado native who grew up in Pueblo, Colorado. He earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from larry -bergles Author photoCSU-Pueblo, his master’s degree in U.S. history, and a Ph.D. in public affairs at CU Denver, as well as a certificate in alternative dispute resolution.
Matt currently teaches at a K-8 private school in Denver, where he has witnessed firsthand young, inner-city kids’ curiosity and love of animals and nature, observing that every time they are asked what community service project or charitable cause they’d like to be involved with, most K-3 students pick something related to domestic animals or wildlife. This natural love and curiosity led Matt to write Larry Saves the Prairie for young children.
Matt is an independent researcher and advocate for wildlife conservation, especially conservation of prairie habitat. Matt lives in Denver with his wife, Kate, two children, Luke and Mary, and dog Samuel. He is a volunteer coach, a private pilot, and has helped teach his teenage son to fly.

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