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Join Banjo, Matilda and Ned on a magical adventure into the Australian native landscape via a series of historic, beautifully-rendered botanical paintings. Entering the pages of their favourite book, the children interact with all manner of Australian flora including Kangaroo Paw, Wattle and Eucalypt. Along the way, these intrepid warriors seek 'tips' to ensure the survival of our native landscape for generations to come. Can these eco-warriors help save our native flora from extinction?
Tips about caring for the environment include:
* Don't litter
* Tread carefully whilst bushwalking
* Never pick native flowers
* Keep our waterways clean
* Plant native trees and shrubs...and many more...
Combining modern photography with historical artworks from the archives of the National Library, 'Eco Warriors to the Rescue!' makes our beautiful collection of botanical art accessible to the very young. The book also includes interesting facts about Australian flora, as well as floral emblems and birth months, and further ideas on how to keep Australian green.
Tania McCartney is an author and editor, with a deep passion for children's books and literacy. She founded the popular website Kids Book Review, and is an experienced magazine writer and editor. Tania was an ambassador for the National Year of Reading 2012. Tania has lived and worked in England, France and China. She adores paper, travel and photography, and currently lives in Canberra with her husband, two kids and a mountain of books.
Commissioned by the National Library of Australia, this little book for middle primary people promotes the idea that everyone can do something about the environment, through some of the illustrations held in the National Library. With clear photographs of three young children we follow their path in helping the environment by cleaning, collecting, learning about and actively protecting it.
Ned, Matilda and Banjo consult their favourite book, Australian flora, fauna and other curiosities, and make their way through the bush, each page giving stunning illustrations of various plants and hints about how it is to be protected. So we have a page with an illustration of a kangaroo paw with rubbish around it which the children clear away. Over the pages we are shown other flora, with hints about their continued representation in our forests, by treading carefully, not picking the wild flowers, not polluting our lakes which support the wildlife, actively planting native trees and shrubs to attract wildlife and so on. As pages are turned, the children are shown caring for our environment, modelling what other children should do. The children hold posters on which are written the rules about protecting our environment, like Don't Litter, or Tread Carefully, or Plan Development Wisely, and so on. At the end of the book is a map of Australia with our floral emblems, a page abut the flora mentioned in the book, a list of the illustrators and a double page giving the Birth Flowers.
The book would find a place in primary classes looking at caring for our environment, looking at our stunning flora and the illustrators who have drawn these flowers, as well as the role of the National Library in preserving the work of these illustrators.
This deceptively simple picture book is actually a work of art. Behind the invitation to young children to become wildlife protectors are scanned images of Australian flora and fauna from the National Library of Australia's archives. Intricately detailed images from historical picture collections are combined on these glossy pages with contemporary photos of three Aussie children. The result is a child-friendly adventure.
The message for children is straightforward: learn what each plant needs to thrive and then fight to provide it. Eco Warriors to the Rescue! is the perfect first eco-adventure for the very young, while simultaneously offering parents a visual feast. The majority of art is watercolour with the occasional gelatin silver print and colour photomechanical print, but I don't recall ever seeing such finely detailed watercolours.
I only realised the breadth and depth of the artwork contained when I reached the last few pages: a double spread is devoted to the floral emblems for each Australian state and territory, while another outlines our Australian Native Birth Flowers. I just couldn't resist another quick read of the entire book to browse the visuals once more.
Eco Warriors to the rescue! may become a favourite for botanists, gardeners and lovers of Australian art as well as the original target audience: children. Thank you National Library of Australia for your generosity in opening your archives and thank you Tania McCartney for the child friendly simplicity you have created with these treasures.
Will there be more eco-tales for children using The National Library's vast archives? I hope so.