Tuesday 23 January 2018

"Snowboy and the Last Tree Standing" by Hiawyn Oram and Birgitta Sif (Walker Books)

What must the younger generation think of the state of the world, when adults seem to make such horrible decisions about its future?
We seem to have noticed a subtle drop-off in children's stories that deal with ecological issues but when we see stories that deal with such issues in such a subtle but poignant way, we always sit up and take notice.

So it is with "Snowboy and the Last Tree Standing" by Hiawyn Oram and Birgitta Sif.

This beautifully lyrical story introduces Snow Boy and Greenbackboy, two distinctly different characters.

Snow Boy loves the forest and all the creatures who live in it, but Greenbackboy has an idea for a new game - a game that will win them both some sparkly gold.

Greenbackboy sees a business opportunity, even far out at sea
Greenbackboy doesn't just stop at plundering the forests, he turns his beady gaze to the oceans deep and all the fish who swim in it. Again, there's moolah to be made but GBB is also very careful never to break a sweat doing any of the work himself.

Soon the world is a wasteland...

The pile of gold (and fish) gets bigger, but the oceans become emptier. Snowboy must act quickly!
...but thanks to Snowboy, there may still be hope.

This fantastic story doesn't preach its ecological message in a dull and boring way. It's fantastically entertaining and even the youngest child should be able to pick up on the theme.

This is a glorious book indeed.

C's best bit: Seeing the earth slowly come back to life, despite Greenbackboy's nefarious plan.

Daddy's best bit: A really superb story with a serious and heartfelt message that not just children need to hear and understand, after all its we adults who need to change our ways and start protecting the planet before it's far too late - because we won't have a Snowboy to bail us out!

(Kindly supplied for review)

"Snowboy and the Last Tree Standing" by Hiawyn Oram and Birgitta Sif is out now, published by Walker Books.