Posts Tagged ‘plant trees’

Photo: Bee and Tom Rivett-Carnac.
A painting by Bee Rivett-Carnac in the free digital children’s book
What happened when we all stopped.

Children are really good at understanding the need to protect Nature. When I read about this free book and the video featuring Jane Goodall, I knew they would make good ammunition for kids needing to convince skeptical adults. The Covid angle was cool, too, and made the book seem even more timely.

Rohini Kejrwal has a report at Hyperallergic.

“ ‘No time for sorry, we’re building tomorrow,’ writes author, climate policy strategist, and former Buddist monk Tom Rivett-Carnac in his new and free digital book, What happened when we all stopped. The book emerged during the lockdown as a collaboration between Tom and his sister Bee Rivett-Carnac, who illustrated his poem.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the entire world was forced to stay home, it became an opportunity for Mother Nature to heal, for the smog to melt, the birds to sing, and the rivers to run clear. As the world began to phase out lockdown measures, Tom’s message to his readers, young and old, was this: Let’s choose well.

“Talking about the inspiration, he says:

‘The creative process is just a mystery to me. But I was thinking a lot and feeling inspired by the idea of a trillion trees — this idea that we can replant a trillion trees and reforest the earth. There were no planes in the sky; people were noticing the birds and remembering a better way of living. It was a strangely optimistic time, and the book was written out of a hope that we need to do things differently.’

“One evening, he sat and wrote the poem in a stream of consciousness. A few edits later, he invited Bee to illustrate it. ‘We were at Mum’s house in Devon, having breakfast, when Tom asked me if I’d fancy illustrating his poem. …

“Bee chose the medium of watercolor paintings to create a sense of lightness and depict the connection to nature. … Being someone who divides her time between spending time with her children, gardening and illustrating, and her shamanic practice, her personal style naturally lent itself to the inspiration and imagery for the book. To make the poem more accessible to children, she introduced two primary characters — a little girl and an owl — who carry the story forward. …

“As the book shaped up, it opened the door to further collaborations. It was developed into a beautiful, animated poem by TED-Ed, an auxiliary of the renowned conference organization geared toward teachers and students. Jane Goodall, celebrated anthropologist and United Nations Messenger of Peace, offered narration. …

“The two collaborations happened fairly organically, owing to Tom’s role as the UN’s chief political strategist and his work as one of the architects of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change. …

“Tom reiterates that the book is a reminder of the urgent need for change. ‘The next 10 years are the most consequential in the history of humanity. We have to do something, or we’ll lose control over the climatic systems and never get it back,’ he says. ‘We need to reclaim a sense of agency in climate change, which has been deliberately undermined by fossil fuel companies.

“We all have a choice as to who we want to be during this time. Do we want to look back 30 years from now and say we gave up because it was difficult or say that we did everything possible to make a difference even if we don’t succeed? And why won’t we succeed? Real, genuine success is possible!’ he wraps up, firm optimism in his voice.”

More here. Check out the illustrations. Especially the owls.

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