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Greenwild – Interview with Pari Thomson

We are delighted to welcome author Pari Thomson to the blog today, whose new book Greenwild is available now. Pari tells us more about the new book and discusses ways in which it might inspire young readers, as well as sharing her favourite environment-themed book recommendations for children.

Interview: Pari Thomson

Author of Greenwild

See our review panel’s review of Greenwild here.

Q&A: Greenwild

Can you tell us a bit about what Greenwild is about?

Hello, and thank you so much for hosting me on your blog! Greenwild is the story of eleven-year-old Daisy Thistledown, whose journalist mother goes missing while researching a story in the depths of the Amazon rainforest. Daisy, who has been temporarily deposited at a horrible boarding school, knows it’s up to her to escape and find her missing mother. In the process (and with the help of a very small and grumpy cat called Napoleon!) she discovers a hidden door into a secret, magical world called the Greenwild – a place where plant magic is real, where Botanists are under threat, and where she might discover the truth about her mother’s disappearance.

What are the main themes of the book?

I wrote Greenwild as a love letter to the beauty of the natural world, and a rallying cry to protect it. It’s a story very much inspired by nature, and by the idea that a lot of the world around us is really quite magical, if only we pay close enough attention. Just think of the way a sunflower moves its head to follow the sun across the sky, or a whole tree can grow from a single tiny seed.

Of course, science can explain all of this – but I had a lot of fun with that initial idea: What if nature really WAS magic? Well, you might end up with a world like the Greenwild – a place full of giant lily-pad boats, and milk chocolate trees, and magical minim-moss that can shrink you to the height of your thumb.

At the same time, it quickly becomes clear to Daisy that the Greenwild is under threat from people who want to destroy it – something that has resonances in our own world today, of course. But even though that eco-theme runs through the book, this is also, at its heart, a story about family, friendship and adventure, and the courage it takes to protect the things we love most.

How do you think the book could be used in schools to inspire children?

I hope Greenwild will inspire readers to find out more about nature and the environment and conservation – there are so many amazing plant facts to discover, and lots of them are stranger than fiction.

At the same time, the last thing I want is to preach or impose messages on children. I think we can all often feel powerless in the face of the unfolding climate crisis, and I hope that, rather than telling children what to do about it, this book will remind them that there is still hope to be found in good people and in the wild beauty of the world around us. I hope the book tells children: you matter, you are brave, you are important, and you can make a difference.

Most of all, I hope the book comforts and inspires readers in the same way my favourite books comforted and inspired me as a child. I hope it makes children want to invent their own hidden worlds. If they could dream up a world behind a door, what would it look like? What kind of magic would it have? If they could invent their own magical plant, what would it be?

Can you recommend any other books about the environment for this age group?

Yes! One of my favourites is The Last Bear by Hannah Gold, stunningly illustrated by Levi Pinfold. It’s the story of a girl called April who befriends a huge polar bear in the remote Arctic. It’s inspiring and hopeful without ever being didactic – a masterclass of modern eco-fiction.

I also loved The Girl Who Talked to Trees by Natasha Farrant, with gorgeous illustrations by Lydia Corry. This beautiful series of interlinked stories brings trees to life and shows exactly why they’re so important. The writing is threaded through with a conservation theme and a strong sense of wonder – I loved it.

Finally, a book I keep giving as a gift:Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, illustrated by Tom de Freston. It’s about a girl called Julia and the summer she spends living on a lighthouse – and her mother’s mission to find an elusive Greenland shark. Filled with a deep sense of the importance of science and the environment, it’s also a wonderful adventure with family at its heart.


Pari’s brand new book Greenwild is out now.



For more about the book, follow the rest of the blog tour!

You can read our review of Greenwild here.

We also have more children’s book recommendations for primary schools on our booklists.

Purchase Greenwild from Amazon or

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> Visit our Reading for Pleasure Hub
> Browse our Topic Booklists
> View our printable year group booklists.
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