When talking to our youngest kids about the world’s environmental challenges, it’s all about finding the right starting point.
Why did I want to develop an environmental children’s book series? I’m so glad you asked :).
After 10+ years of writing about sustainability and climate change issues for governments, international organizations and the private sector, I felt it was time to add a new audience to my repertoire. And being a mom to two curious young boys over the past six years has given me daily practice in explaining my work and why it’s important.
But if I had to pinpoint my proverbial “light bulb” moment for developing my book series, it was probably when my oldest was about 3 or 4 years old. At the grocery store, I was explaining to him why I wouldn’t buy him a cheap, plastic toy (“…because it will break, end up in the garbage, and maybe end up in the ocean where a whale might think it’s food, and eat it. And that would make the whale sick.”).
What amazed me is how easily he followed the logic. He just got it. And I realized then that we shouldn’t be waiting to talk to young kids about our environmental challenges.
Then I hit Google and Amazon in search of books that could help me with these conversations. What I quickly discovered is that there is no shortage of environmental children’s books for ages 8+, but that far less was out there to help start conversations about environmental challenges with our little ones.
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. So, I decided to write the children’s books I was looking for.
Connecting with Nature to Protect it
The trick was finding the right starting point for ages 4-8. Building on my years of experience on the subject, I dove into the latest research on managing climate anxiety and eco-grief, and I discovered that in fact the best starting point for these conversations is actually quite universal.
It doesn’t start with the latest science on climate change. It doesn’t even start with the latest and greatest solutions to our climate crisis. It starts with connection— a deep connection and respect for nature. Because we don’t protect what we don’t first care about.
So, that is what my series What the World Needs Now is all about; connecting our youngest kids to the importance of nature, and our place in it. Each book in my series follows a friendly animal through its habitat, helping kids to learn about one thing the world needs now, be it more trees or bees or less plastic, to maintain a healthy planet.
This is a brand-new adventure for me– completely independent and self-published. And it feels like the culmination of everything I have ever worked on personally and professionally in the arena of climate change and sustainability.
I hope you will join me on this adventure by starting a conversation, by engaging. This series is about learning with our kids how to better respect and care for this beautiful planet.
Because that is what the world needs now.
If you would like to see the making of the characters in my children’s book series, please explore the Kids Books page below: