Environmentally friendly children's books

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  • Emily Hobson-Martin

Inspire them to LOVE the planet, Inspire them to PROTECT it...

There are plenty of web pages, blogs and campaigns which highlight the ‘plastic crisis’ to adults but how do we reach children- they are the future after all? After reading numerous social media posts, blogs and articles about the state of our planet, I was left feeling deflated and generally depressed- particularly by the attitude of some ‘campaigners’ who, instead of motivating, educating and inspiring people to change- pointed fingers of blame at well meaning adults who just don’t realise yet how bad the situation is, or who ignorantly feel that it is ‘someone else’s issue’. Being a Youth Worker by ‘trade’ I know how difficult it is to teach adolescents about anything that requires a huge amount of empathy as research shows that, in most cases, their brains have not yet developed enough to comprehend ‘Action vs Consequence’. The way, I feel, to really get Young People to empathise with any subject is for them to build a strong connection with it as a child. From a young age I was encouraged to love being outdoors- woodland walks and Sir David Attenborough documentaries making up most of our weekends, I believe that this regular exposure to the natural world led me to LOVE it- which in turn compels me to PROTECT it. I felt it was time to approach this in a positive way- and this is where Hilda was born! With my current role being mummy to a gorgeous (I may be biased but- you know..) young baby, it wasn’t easy creating a book- writing and illustration is not my ‘job’ but I love being creative and bringing the ideas to life. The first ‘Hilda’ book- 'Hilda's Forest', is designed to help children understand that by dropping litter, they could be directly hurting an animal and hopefully this is done in a way that is ‘light hearted’ enough not to scare them, but serious enough for the message to stick with them. For those who choose to follow the Facebook and Instagram pages- there will be daily tips and ideas for adults to support children in getting outdoors and respecting wildlife and nature. I am also going to write (fairly) regular blogs about all sorts of 'eco' type stuff and how to help Children and Young People enjoy nature. This is a small drop in a giant ocean but with support from readers and followers of Hilda’s Planet, I hope that we can build future generations of adults who respect and love our planet enough to stop destroying it, and start reversing the damage we have already done. Fianlly.. to stop my waffling.. the most personal inspiration for writing these books has been watching my nieces, and now my baby, grow up in a world where they may not be able to appreciate the beauty of nature as adults, like we have been lucky enough to have done, and where their children, and grandchildren definitely wont be able to. No- one is perfect, we will all use some plastic every now and then, but bringing it to the forefront of your thoughts whilst going about your daily routines may just help to turn it around.

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