One World

One World
Michael Foreman
Andersen Press

Even more pertinent today than when it was first published thirty years ago is Michael Foreman’s almost prophetic One World.

As she looks up at the night sky a little girl contemplates all the creatures that share in the sun’s warmth and the moon’s silvery light.

Next morning she and her brother visit the seashore and together they create their own miniature world from items drawn from a rock pool: a ‘new world with its own forests, its own life.’

As they continue adding items during the day, they realise that their actions have altered the environment around understanding how easy it is to spoil the beauty of the world: the world into which various kinds of poisons are being poured, where forests are disappearing, where creatures all over the planet are no longer safe.

Can they in their own way, do at least something to counter the pollution?

First they remove a tarred feather and the tin can from the pool then with another feather skim off the surface oil before dropping back into it the items they’d collected.

As they leave for home that night the sister and brother decide to ask other children to help them in their cause:

after all, ‘They all lived on one world. And that world too, they held in their hands.’

Stunningly beautiful and thought provoking as it was then and is now, with Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion taking up the cause, this is such a timely re-issue.

A book that needs to be read and discussed in every primary classroom from reception through to older juniors, after which let the action begin or continue … We don’t have much time.

Greta and the Giants

Greta and the Giants
Zoë Tucker and Zoe Persico
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

The impassioned 16 year old Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg is often in the headlines and here we have an allegorical picture book tale of a forest-dwelling Greta and the troubled animals whose beautiful home environment is threatened by thoughtless greedy giants.

The importance of conscious interaction with both the land and the animals that make its various environments their home, comes across powerfully through both Zoê Tucker’s words and Zoe Persico’s spirited illustrations.

One can’t help but wish that the real world culprits were as responsive and had consciences that made them respond as positively as the giants who, in this heartfelt fable, change their ways for the better.

Yes, this inspiring story has a happy ending but as its creators acknowledge, the real Greta is still fighting the Giants (industry and governments).However there are things that everyone, no matter how young, can do to make a difference where climate change and the climate crisis is concerned; if we all work together ‘we can change the world’. That in itself makes the book a must for all families and classrooms where there are young children.

(Thanks to the publishers, 3% of the cover price of every copy of the book, which in the UK is printed on 100% recycled paper, will go to Greenpeace UK.)