BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Today author and award-winning television producer Nick Powell is stopping by the BooksForTopics blog to tell us more about his new book, Poppy Goes Wild.
The story follows a young girl on a mission to save her Grandad’s farm. Poppy decides that the way to save the farm is to return the countryside to a time when flower meadows grew wild and native animals flourished.
Poppy is a brave and curious character and many children - who already appreciate the beauty and power of nature in ways often overlooked by busy adults - will relate to her. Poppy's love for the natural world and her desire to salvage the countryside around her for a better future are truly themes for our times, and the story is told in a gently unfolding way with plenty of colour artwork by Becca Hall. The high image-to-text ratio makes this a suitable story for younger readers in the 4-7 age group.
Author Nick Powell tells us more about how the story can be used in educational contexts...
The Educational Value of Poppy Goes Wild
by Nick Powell
The best nature lessons for young children are held outdoors, so in writing the book I wanted to immerse the young reader in Poppy’s awakening as a young naturalist.
Poppy is determined to make the countryside teem with wildlife again, exactly as it was when her grandad was a boy. To achieve her goal Poppy needs her grandad’s guidance. But as in many fruitful teacher-pupil relationships, the pupil becomes the instigator after Poppy reads about ‘rewilding’.
The word is a relatively new term, but schoolchildren will be learning about it for years to come. Poppy learns about the damage caused to wildlife on the farm by her grandad’s use of pesticides to improve the crop yields.
He stops using pesticides and large areas of land are left to grow wild. Newly planted flower meadows lure back the bees and butterflies and hares start to breed again in the overgrown grassy areas. Poppy enlists her classmates to clean up the river and it is restored to its natural flood plain, heralding the return of the long-lost otter.
In her testimonial, Joanna Lumley believes the book ‘will chime with nature loving children everywhere’. There is a huge body of research that shows the benefits of children getting closer to nature and that was hugely in evidence during lockdown.
The story taps into schemes throughout the country where schoolchildren are planting trees and wildflower meadows and clearing up rivers. There are new moves for Nature Studies to become the first new GSCE subject in over a decade.
The world of education has really begun to embrace the idea that the more children learn about nature and sustainability, the better equipped they will be to face the challenges of our constantly changing world. Poppy is one tiny little seed in that process.
Many thanks to the publishers for sending us review copies and to Nick for the guest post. Follow along with the other stops on the blog tour for more about the book.
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