Mandy and Fanny cartoon book for teaching kids about sustainable farming– from ISAAA

Welcome to ISAAA – India Biotech Information Center

Mandy and Fanny: The Future of Sustainable Agriculture

A novel educational cartoon publication featuring two characters, “Mandy” and “Fanny”, which illustrates the attributes of biotech/genetically modified (GM) crops –biotech maize (corn) and biotech cotton and are viewed as the “Tom and Jerry” of modern agriculture. The cartoon publication “Mandy and  Fanny : The Future of Sustainable Agriculture” is the first educational cartoon of its kind developed by ISAAA, and narrates the story of two biotech crops, which have been grown over a billion hectares since 1996. The 60-page educational cartoon publication features a lively dialogue between Mandy (biotech maize) and Fanny (biotech cotton) – a crop-based educational cartoon designed to enhance understanding about biotech crops, particularly for children and young people at learning institutions.
David Tribe

Written by David Tribe

David Tribe’s research career in academia and industry has covered molecular genetics, biochemistry, microbial evolution and biotechnology. He has over 60 publications and patents. Dr. Tribe's recent activities focus on agricultural policy and food risk management. He teaches graduate programs in food science and risk management as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, University of Melbourne.

20 comments

  1. Who on earth suggested the names? ‘Fanny’ I would suggest isn’t the best name for a cartoon character in the US or UK, as any vernacular dictionary would tell you.
    Jonathan

  2. I call Poe (or inverse Poe: a plant, a provacateur graphic artist). That’s the most terrifying cartoon in a long time: kids would be hiding under the furniture! And what’s with the suggestive images (especially under “We are the future…”), and lastly who is being carried away in the bag?

  3. Certainly, the drawings are not attractive to us. However, what we may be looking at are some cultural differences between the kinds of art we appreciate (and give to kids) and the kinds that are prevalent in India and nearby cultures. You can download the PDF of the comic book here: Mandy and Fanny (Right click, Save As).
    I think, though, that we could do one better!

  4. I think you are right, there have to be some cultural differences here. I find Mandy to be rather frightening 🙁 And what’s up with the words “Mandy and Fanny” on the cover? They sort of look like blood spatter 🙁

  5. Hey guys…straighten up your angle of view. Google “fanny” and you will find many females by name “Fanny”. you cant ingnore the root word by taking into account some slang which came into use recently. Ppl still use this word at so many places including books, nusic and movies. Please appreciate what you can for common good.

  6. This is truly strange, and some elements cannot be explained by references to culture alone.
    The blood-spatter should be unambiguous in any setting — and totally irrelevant to GM crops, except for fans of Jeffrey Smith.
    Cotton is the only Caucasian in the group. Soy is not represented. Of all the currencies held aloft, the dollar is the highest.
    One character (apparently human) appears to be floating in the air; his feet dangle above the ground. He’s the one with the huge bag of dollars. Perhaps a Jeff Smith levitator?
    And finally, what’s the value of touting GM crops to children? Thus far, targeting children with a message has been the province of eco-freaks. It’s disturbing that ISAAA would choose such a tactic.
    Assuming this is not a hoax, of course.

  7. Oh and I should have mentioned — Mandy, who’s apparently a second cousin to Frank N. Foode™, appears to have some affliction on the skin of his face that resembles smallpox. Or maybe acnea rosacea. Perhaps a poster child for non-Bt maize?

  8. Dishevelled comments from such a literate community, mostly phd, trivializing the most important issue of how biotech can contribute to food production. May I suggest you to read the cartoon book and you will find answers/response to all your comments/queries.

  9. Sonny,
    The coding behind the ISAAA India website is hopelessly corrupt and the full pdf of this Manny/Fanny thing is impossible to download. So for now, people will have to be content with the short batch of frames that initially load at that site. I crashed my browser (Firefox) trying to retrieve the full version of the book.
    Maybe someone here could do a work-around, maybe an ftp (might not be possible, as the coding for links is trash), and then post the pdf on Biofortified.
    Here’s another question: How many kids in India speak English? I can’t imagine that’s a substantial audience.

  10. I had no problem downloading it. The book it not bad at all, and I think people are going over the top criticizing the artwork. Seriously.
    “How many kids in India speak English?” Lots I think.

  11. And why not? Enid Blighton’s Famous Five had two such characters – good honest childrens books!

  12. The reason people put pictures in children’s books is because the young impressionables are largely pre-literate and will respond more to pictures than to text. As McLuhan noted lo so many years ago, the medium is the message. The children will absorb whatever significance they can find from the images in this book.
    Oh, thanks for posting a link to the book — crashed my browser again. And I promise you, this is the only site that reliably causes my browser to cough up hairballs and expire.
    It may be that my connection speed is too slow, compared to the lovely T1 access enjoyed by ISUvians. If the book could be downloaded to another website, I’d appreciate it.

  13. Well, I don’t know what is the problem on ISAAA India website, may be the size of the publication “Mandy & Fanny”. But one thing is sure that these guys may translate this cartoon publication in the major Indian and international languages. In the past, I hv seen translated version of 2009 brochure “Tribute to Dr. Norman Borlaug” translated in a dozen international languages, http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/tributenormanborlaug/default.asp
    and the recent ISAAA highlights of the global development of biotech/GM crops translated in almost 50 international languages; http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/42/highlights/default.asp
    So I am actually looking forward to seeing lots of things on Mandy & Fanny in the future.
    For me, ISAAA website is a real time source of information on biotech/GM agriculture

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