Archive | March 13, 2022

It’s Up to Us: A Children’s Terra Carta for Nature, People & Planet

It’s Up to Us

It’s Up to Us: A Children’s Terra Carta for Nature, People & Planet












It’s Up to Us: A Children’s Terra Carta for Nature, People & Planet

Christopher Lloyd

HRH The Prince of Wales

What On Earth Books, 2022

64pp., hbk., RRP $A39.99


On January 11.2021, The Prince of Wales’s Sustainable Markets Initiative  announced the ‘Terra Carta’ – a charter that puts sustainability at the heart of the private sector. Terra Carta (Earth Charter) will provide a roadmap to 2030 for businesses to move towards an ambitious and sustainable future; one that will harness the power of Nature combined with the transformative power, innovation and resources of the private sector.

This book, illustrated by 33 different artists from around the world, offers ” a beautiful, lyrical and thought-provoking voyage through Nature, the threats we face and an action plan for the future” based on that Terra Carta.  Developed in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation, a charity established by HRH The Prince of Wales to demonstrate how Nature can be put at the heart of human activities it is written in easily-accessible text which explains the importance of  each element- Nature, People and Planet – and why it is critical that they are in harmony.  It shows how the actions of humans have led to change in the environment, how natural habitats have become polluted and the evolution of climate change. It explains the role of carbon dioxide in that change, using language that anyone can understand, the consequences of the planer heating, and what everyone on the planer must agree to do if we are to keep the planet healthy and habitable. That it is up to us, as individuals and collectively, to act now.

If your students have been following the book trail that I have threaded through this year’s reviews that tracks the development of both planet and humans…

Our Country: Ancient Wonders

BANG! The Story of How Life on Earth Began

Australian Backyard Naturalist 

Earth is Big

We are One: How the World Adds Up

Australian Backyard Explorer

The History of Everywhere

The Amazing Meals of Martha Maloney

A Hundred Thousand Welcomes

Atlas of Amazing Migrations

Ouch! Tales of Gravity

The Same But Different

On the Origin of Species 

then this book is a natural addition because it not only has that planet in crisis but offers it a future through the children who now understand where we have come from to get where we are.  It includes the Terra Carta itself, including QR codes to scan to find out more, and while that, in itself, seems to be a commitment to be undertaken by the corporate world, nevertheless, it offers a roadmap for the children so they can consider the ways they can make a difference.  Combined with other books written especially for them about climate change, the environment and sustainability, they can, as a class, develop their own Terra Carta for the school and/or their families to follow.  There is nothing so overwhelming as a global issue, but also nothing so empowering as knowing that as an individual, you can make a difference.


Swim, Shark, Swim

Swim, Shark, Swim

Swim, Shark, Swim











Swim, Shark, Swim

Dom Conlon

Anastasia Izlesou

CSIRO Publishing, 2022 

32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99


The sun shines down on the West Australian ocean, highlighting the shape of a blacktip reef shark just below the surface.  But when a boat drops a net the shark knows he has to “open a tunnel of bubbles and swim, Shark, SWIM.”

And off he goes, on a trip around the world searching for the place he calls home, meeting other sharks and sea creatures during the journey, some friendly and others, not-so. 

While blacktips do not normally migrate as this one does, it offers an opportunity for readers to meet various species of sharks around the world, sharks which , as the apex predators, keep the ocean waters in balance by helping maintain the diversity rather than the dominance of one creature. With lyrical text and arresting illustrations, young readers can learn to respect the creatures of the deep and unknown rather than fearing them because their only knowledge is sensational news stories, scary movies and sinister music.  Building knowledge through information rather than imagination develops understanding much more effectively. 

Accompanied by comprehensive teachers’ notes for Years 2-5 that will build an even greater understanding of the planet’s different marine habitats, their inhabitants and their particular characteristics, this is a book that celebrates the natural world and encourages students to delve deeper than the surface.  Makes me wish I was still allowed to dive – so many of my hours have passed well below the sun’s sparkle and I miss it.