The Bergen Record Photographer at the B&N in Paramus

Chris J. Behrens

SILVER MEDAL (October 2015) Moonbeam Children's Book Awards for Early Chapter Reader category
indieBRAG Medallion Award (January 2015)

Savanna's Treasure: Wild New Children's Book Proves that Danger, Adversity & Even Poachers are No Match for the Power of Unlikely Friendships.

Enthralling young readers and adults alike, Chris Behrens' 'Savanna's Treasure' shares the story of two unlikely allies who literally take on the troubles of the world. Nobody would think that a baby elephant and a mouse could fight off poachers and pirates - but this engrossing and educational narrative showcases the boundless potential  ...See more >

Chris J. Behrens welcomes queries regarding:
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" inspiring animal alliance. Brief chapters and easy-to-follow language make this story a good fit for early readers."

Kirkus Reviews


indieBRAG Medallion, 2015: Savanna's Treasure

Silver Medal in the Moonbeam Awards, 2015: Savanna's Treasure

Daughters Helped Inspire Montvale Author, 2015

Montvale's Chris Behrens earns praises for his book, 2015

Longtime DPW employee pens first children's book, 2014

Free Fall Friday & Kudos (My book in middle of post)), 2014

Press Release is copied and pasted here on right of page, 2014

Hometown Pearl River, N.Y.

Favorite author Mark Twain

Favorite book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Day job Department of Public Works in N.J. and high school coach

Favorite line from a book You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter.

Favorite word brobdignagian

Unexpected skill or talent Painting (but haven't painted in a while) also blending photos

Passion in life Everything, especially my kids, writing, and coaching


Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1-4363-6633-5
Page count: 134pp

In Behren’s first illustrated children’s book, a field mouse and a young elephant form an unlikely friendship as they seek refuge from evil poachers. 

Shamba, a friendly Serengeti field mouse, lives at an American zoologist’s campsite with his friend Panya. The two mice enjoy the American’s food and protection from the gnarly gang of poachers who entrap field mice. One day, when the mice wander offsite in search of entertainment, they return to find the camp’s been burned to the ground. In place of Sarah, their American protector, they find a black bandanna marking the recent presence of the poacher gang. Fleeing the site and losing Panya, Shamba encounters a small elephant named Kali and catches a ride on her tail to safety from the poachers. Shamba befriends Kali and her elephant family as they learn that many of the Serengeti animals now share the common goal of escaping the evil poachers. Kali’s wise grandmother Savanna devises a plan for the elephants to safely migrate, and the elephants give Shamba a ride as they embark on their great journey. Along the way, Shamba and Kali meet other animal friends, united in their evasion of the poachers. However, more danger lies ahead, and the young animals must bravely fight for their survival. Brief chapters and easy-to-follow language make this story a good fit for early readers. A few simple black-and-white illustrations highlight moments throughout the story. At times, though, Behren’s descriptions of some of the more action-packed sequences are a bit convoluted; more illustrations might facilitate a young reader’s understanding of the detailed events being described. Ultimately, the story shows how the animals’ abilities to overcome their differences and join as allies, along with the help of their human friends, aid them in their success. Some readers, however, might wonder what happens to other animals at the hands of poachers. 

A typical good guys/bad guys story enriched by an inspiring animal alliance.


Short Story

THE PALADIN placed in the top 100 of 2010 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Contest. And THE COUNSELOR placed in the top 100 of the 2011 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Contest.

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