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Permaculture Children's Book  RSS feed

 
Michael Newby
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Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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I'm thinking about making this into a full-blown 32 page children's picture book and would really like some feedback. Would you buy a book with this message for your kids or someone else's kids if you don't have kids, especially if it had good illustrations to go with it?


Gardens All Around Us

A girl would go to an old empty lot,

A place where she could go and think on her thoughts.

She would sit there so quiet, feeling kind of sad,

She kept hearing news, most of it bad.



She saw people that were hungry, more that were ill,

People who couldn’t fight off winter’s chill.

These problems were big and as she thought on them all,

She started to feel so very very small.


Just then came a man, walking her way,

Waving his arms in the air with something to say:

“Excuse me little girl, I do beg your pardon.”

“but all the world’s problems can be solved in this garden.”


She looked for a garden, where could it be?

All she saw was bare dirt, and a poor lonely tree.

The man is crazy, she thought, there’s nothing here but dirt.

It all looked so sad, it made something in her hurt.


“Don’t be so sad,” he said, “you don’t have to cry.”

“There’s so many solutions that we can try.”

“But what do you mean?” she said, “I don’t understand.”

“All I see here is a bare and dead land.”


“Sit back.” he said, “Watch with nature in mind,

and you’ll be amazed at all of the things you can find.”

“There’s patterns all around from the small to the big,

here’s one right here, come look at this twig.”


“Don’t worry child, come look at what I see.

A land that is waiting to show its true beauty.”

“A little help here, a little work there,

And this land will thank us for all of our care.”



“We can catch the water that falls from the sky

And soak it in deep so thing’s aren’t too dry.”

“The place over there that’s always too wet:

A pond will be made where we catch fish with a net.”


“We’ll grow lots of plants with roots in the ground,

that help feed other plants from the air all around.”

“These plants are our tools, kind of a trick,

To making great soil really really quick.”


“There are lot’s of layers and we’ll fill them all in,

We even have plants that make medicine.”

“Shrubs, vines, trees and roots, they all have a use,

With this berry right here you can make a good juice.”


“There are so many plants that give us good food,

Which do you think that we should include?”

“We can have apples and pears, ripe red tomatoes,

In this dirt over here we’ll grow big brown potatoes.”


“We’ll have lot’s of flower’s to make the air sweet,

and earthworms that are crawling all under our feet.”

“There will be bees moving pollen and birds in their nest,

nature all around doing what it does best.”


“There’s no trash around here, no waste, only treasure,

why somebody will use that ‘junk’ there with pleasure.”

“Worms love the cores left from making apple pie,

even old wood is nice to these cool fungi.”


“These trees give us shade when the sun is too bright,

and wood for a fire on a cold snowy night.”

“We can saw up some boards from the ones that grow tall,

And make tiny houses to shelter us all.”


“There’s gardens all around us, waiting to grow,

now you can see them, now you know.”

“When these gardens are growing, there will be enough to share,

there will be extra all around us, abundance everywhere.”


So the girl knew that things would not be too hard,

now that she saw gardens in every lot and every yard.

Those gardens were filled with hope, hope all around,

the promise that things will be fine when nature abounds.
 
Jaime Cameron
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I like it a lot.
And I agree, with really good art I think it would be an excellent gift.
Especially if there was a short blurb somewhere in it explaining permaculture .
Good on you!
 
Ron Helwig
Posts: 130
Location: New Hampshire
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A book would be good, but it should also be an animated video.

And the man should be a big boisterous guy in overalls with slightly crazy hair. I think we all know who should do that voice-over.
 
Michael Newby
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Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
134
books chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees woodworking
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Ron Helwig wrote:A book would be good, but it should also be an animated video.

And the man should be a big boisterous guy in overalls with slightly crazy hair. I think we all know who should do that voice-over.


Haha, that would be great. Seems Cassie would be a shoe-in for the little girl voice, then.
 
John Smithington
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This is really good. Pictures seem like they could add a great deal to this. What if while the man is explaining the concepts to the girl there is some sort of time passing. Like a year between each picture to represent the time it would realistically take to establish such a system? You could represent this by showing the girl getting older/wearing different clothes/the garden growing. You could also have some continuity within the pictures, so the pond that you describe would still be in later pictures. Might help with establishing the idea of a system that grows and changes overtime. Just my thoughts, but overall I really like this! Nice job.
 
nancy sutton
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Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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I love it!! Just some more random thoughts... maybe the 'man' could be a 'woman'.. I know, problem with the poetry syllables... but the tone of my imagined picture changed subtly ;) The far future results could be presented in cartoon thought bubbles. Maybe more animal life... sharing with the birds and rabbits... kids love little animals ;) (OK - no room for this, but a picture of the little girl, from the back, dropping seeds in tiny wayside 'corners' here and there as she walks home ... as a beginning ;)

It's a psychologically proven fact that when people 'see' (real or imagined) a 'picture' of real alternatives (and kids are much more imaginative!), the whole 'situation' changes (quoting the most effective marketers... this is their bread and butter... they know it works :). And 'stories' are our basic learning device...a whole plotline is put into 60 second commercials for a reason! And 'graphic books' of all kinds are really popular now ..on every conceivable subject.

Do it!! Start your crowd sourcing :) I'll buy it :) I can just 'see', right now, more and more children 'seeing' the world very differently ....
 
Amy Durkin
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This book concept is awesome. You really need to make this a reality. You can find a grant or set up a kick starter to get the money needed to make the book! Find an amazing artist.
I'd I've to buy this book.
 
Glenn Herbert
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Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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Yes, good concept, and most of the text is right there. There are a few bits that could flow better, but that can happen with attention paid to it, and maybe a good editor if you can find one that won't cost a bundle. An editor would also fix things like
“We’ll have lot’s of flower’s to make the air sweet,"
-->“We’ll have lots of flowers to make the air sweet,"

My niece does wonderful children's artwork and story-type illustration and I have been encouraging her to pursue professional work...
 
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