This is Banjo, Ned and Matilda.
They are everyday curious kids …
but they are also eco warriors.
Banjo, Ned and Matilda are mid-primary-age children interested in maintaining and improving their environment. They are able to enter their favourite book, ‘Australian Flora, Fauna & Other Curiosities’ to learn more about the needs of individual plants. The characters and other contemporary elements of each spread are photographed, but the images of the flora are taken from artworks in the National Library of Australia collection. Along their journey, the children identify challenges for the environment and provide the reader with tips for helping to maintain and improve the local environment. Final spreads include flower facts, national and state flower emblems, and native birth flowers.
Australia has a diverse range of native flora, from the showy to the very shy. From the earliest white settlement, our flora has fascinated scientists and artists. Indeed, in those first days of settlement, artists were necessary to record the details of these plants. And fortunately, many of these works of art exist today to be shared with new young Australians. It is important for children to understand their potential role in maintenance and improvement of our environment, and understanding includes being able to recognise plants and the conditions they need to thrive. It’s easy to see this book being used in the classroom as part of environmental conversations and in preparation for excursions into the bush. Recommended for early- to mid-primary readers.
Eco Warriors to the Rescue! Tania McCartney NLA Publishing 2013 ISBN: 9780642277800
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller
Available from good bookstores and online.