Environment Award for Children’s Literature
Few would argue that environmental concerns, sustainable living and the disconnect children of today have with nature are issues we need to address at individual, family and community level. Books are one of the best ways I know for children to learn about nature, issues of the environment, and sustainability in general. While there is much to be said about learning and exploring in nature, there is also much to be gained from exploring words, images and ideas in worthy non-fiction and fiction texts. Chapter 10 of my book ‘Raising Readers’ explores issues of sustainability and books more deeply, with a great contribution from one of my favs, Dr Lyndal O’Gorman.
In Australia, The Environment Award for Children’s Literature lists of past and present winners and shortlisted titles is a good place to start when developing your collection of books supporting sustainability and the 2019 shortlist has just been announced. This is the 25th year of celebrating excellence in nature books through the awards. The Wilderness Society manages this award because, “We believe that children’s books have a profound effect in shaping who we become as grown ups. The stories we read and enjoy as kids impact the adventures we take, the way we see and experience our landscapes, and sometimes our outlook on life” (here).
It would be fair to say that Mel Kroeger has a deep love for the Maxi series and she’s now written teachers notes for all three of the titles in the series – ‘In Deep Water’ notes are here and you can see my interview with Maxi here.
I currently have several hundred copies of The All New Must Have Orange 430 taking up space in my garage as Mel Kroeger and I are doing sustainability workshops at a few schools in the next few weeks, and this book is a focus text. One school who books us each year also purchases a copy of one of the focus books for all their students – now that is good use of school budget.
2019 Shortlist for the Environment Award for Children’s Literature
(click to purchase or read more about each title)
More and More and More by Ian Mutch
The All New Must Have Orange 430 by Michael Speechley
When Water Lost Her Way by Meg Humphrys
The Great Lizard Trek by Felicity Bradshaw, Illustrated by Norma MacDonald