Loll Kirby (text) and Adelina Lirius (illustrator), Old Enough to Save the Planet, Magic Cat publishing, April 2020, 32 pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781916180529
Meet 12 young climate activists from around the world and learn about the creative solutions they have come up with to make a positive difference to our planet and the pressing issue of climate change. Vince from France is the creator of a community garden that reduces food waste while Shalise from Australia spends her weekends collecting rubbish from the beach. She has also worked with local council to provide special bins for old fishing lines and signage to inform people of marine animal and habitat care. Himangi from India campaigned to reduce traffic pollution outside her school, encouraging people to cycle instead of drive. This idea has now spread to other schools. The children at Hengde School in China on the other hand worked as a group to learn more about water conservation and ecology by building a water ecological learning field. These are just some of the inspiring real-life stories featured in this book.
Impressed by young activists such as Greta Thunberg, and Anna Taylor, who has written a foreword for the book, as well as her own students, Kirby, a teacher, celebrates young people who want to make a difference. Each activist is introduced with an empowering statement such as ‘We are big enough,’ ‘resourceful’ or ‘smart enough’ to make change.
Beautifully illustrated by Adelina Lirius, in pen and ink and digitally coloured, each young activist is given a double page spread in which Lirius’s gentle images tell a story of positive change within an atmosphere of cooperation and community. Font gently ripples across the pages, annotating elements of the visual narrative without dominating it while a small summary of each project provides an interesting context for the reader. At the back of the book Kirby contributes ideas on how to help save the planet and ten things you can do to make your voice heard while further reading is also listed.
A wonderful addition to the home or school library.
Highly recommended 6+
Reviewed by Mem Capp