Celebrate Earth Day with Evelyn Bookless!
Hello, readers, writers, and earthlings alike. We are here celebrating a very special day for our planet - Earth Day! What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to ask the wonderful Evelyn Bookless and her extremely green MC, Captain Green, to stop by. Captain Green (illustrated by Danny Deeptown) follows a superhero who loves our planet and strives to keep it clean. Whether it's helping rid the oceans of plastic or saving the forests from the tree machines, there's nothing Captain Green can't do. Want to know more about Evelyn, her green-loving hero, PLUS want a chance to win a copy of Captain Green OR a picture book critique? Read on...
Q: Welcome to #SeasonsOfKidLit! We’re excited to have you and learn more about you and the books you publish! Can you tell us what inspired you to write about conservation issues?
A: Hello, and Happy Earth Day 2023!
I have always felt connected to nature and animals. I am at my very happiest when surrounded by both. I was inspired to write the first story in the series, CAPTAIN GREEN AND THE PLASTIC SCENE (Marshall Cavendish, 2018), while on holiday in Indonesia. I was saddened to see so much plastic waste washed up on the sand not far from our hotel, and I immediately started thinking about a way to write a picture book to inspire change. It felt like the topic of plastic pollution wasn’t quite as widely known then, and I wanted to find a way to bring it into a story that would entertain readers rather than preach to them.
Q: How did your Main Character Captain Green come about? How did you decide on his name? Tell us a little bit about this character.
A: Plastic pollution in the ocean can feel like it’s a big, and at times, unsolvable problem; a job for a superhero if you will! I decided on the name ‘Captain Green’ as I wanted the main character to be clearly recognizable as a superhero whose mission is to save the earth. I had a lot of fun trying out different variations, but ‘Captain Green’ just seemed to fit the little guy like a glove.
Fresh out of Superhero School, Captain Green finds himself on a major mission: saving sea creatures from plastic. Dolphin is tangled up, and there’s trouble for Seagull and Turtle too. Using his powers, Captain Green saves the day. But he discovers he needs everyone’s help if he is to fix the problem for good.
Q: When you were offered the opportunity and decided to do a sequel, what made you decide on your second topic?
A: This is such a great question. Sadly, I had a few topics to choose from, but I chose deforestation as trees and forests have always been special places for me. I played for hours in the trees at the back on our house growing up in Ireland. Thirty years ago, my father decided to grow a forest that is now maturing. I love to visit and learn about the different trees, plants and animals living within it. I am proud of this little green ‘lung’ that has been nurtured by my family. While living in Asia for 10 years, I had the opportunity to visit Borneo and other parts of Indonesia and witness some of the intense deforestation of ancient rainforest, often to make way for palm tree plantations or farmland. I experienced weeks of intense air pollution in Singapore when the burning of rainforest in the region prevented people from safely leaving their homes. So many aspects of my childhood and travels have fed into this story.
Q: What message, inspiration, or information did you hope to convey to readers with your book.
A: Tress are vital to our survival and I hope this story will inspire more trees to be planted and protected. As with CAPTAIN GREEN AND THE PLASTIC SCENE, I wanted to shine a light on an important issue in a way that is fun and engaging for children. The back matter presents some simple facts on the topic and real ways that families can help.
In CAPTAIN GREEN AND THE TREE MACHINE (also illustrated by Danny Deeptown), Captain Green is creating a gadget to help save the planet. As he fine-tunes his invention, disaster strikes. Hornbill’s tree has been chopped down and there’s tree trouble for Elephant and Orangutan too. Captain Green scrambles to finish his invention - a TREE MACHINE - and zooms to the rescue! ZAP! ZOOP! ZINK! Trees pop up all around until… BANG! Oh no! Captain Green must find a new way to save the animals.
I think you can guess that he still can’t fix things all on his own! We all need to help.
Q: Do you have a fun craft associated with either book?
A: I do indeed. I have had a lot of fun on school visits showing younger children how to upcycle cardboard to make their very own superhero watches, just like Captain Green. They love to role play using their watch to identify and save animals in danger. It means the world to me to see them care so much. From caring comes action and from action, change.
Printable watch faces, featuring art from the books, are available on my website, as well as many other activities to help families and schools use both books to inspire creativity and activism.
What a cool activity - thanks for sharing!
Q: And now for an extra important question: how will you celebrate Earth Day this year?
A: I will most likely go for a lovely stroll somewhere green and admire the beautiful array of tropical trees around me in Spain. I also plan to pop online and brave an Instragram live where I plan to share some very simple, but important suggestions for all of us to help reduce deforestation, as featured in the back matter of CAPTAIN GREEN AND THE TREE MACHINE. For anyone who might miss this sure to break the Internet sensation, here are the key messages.
Try to use recycled paper and cardboard for drawing and painting. Write on both sides and then recycle it again when you’re finished!
Buy foods like bananas, chocolate and coffee that are grown in a sustainable way. That means they are safe for the environment, for wildlife, and for people.
Eat less meat. Lots of forests are cut down just to make space to farm animals for people to eat.
Also, avoid wasting food. By only producing the food we need, we save land, water, and energy.
And, of course, plant a tree or two! Trees take years to mature so you can measure your little ones growing alongside them.
Thanks again for joining and sharing your lovely story and inspiration with us! We can't wait to check out the Captain Green series!
Evelyn's Earth Day Giveaway:
HAPPY EARTH DAY fellow earthlings!
To celebrate I’d like to offer one reader a choice between a signed copy of CAPTAIN GREEN AND THE PLASTIC SCENE posted anywhere in the world or a picture book critique.
Finally, a big thanks to Lynne Marie and Heather at Seasons of KidLit for inviting me to celebrate this wonderful planet we all call home.
Giveaway Instructions: Readers, to enter this fun giveaway, leave a comment below and let Evelyn know why you can't wait to check out her books! If you share this post on social media, let us know that too for an extra entry into the contest! Winners will be chosen on or about 4/28!
About Evelyn Bookless:
Evelyn Bookless grew up on a farm in the west of Ireland where she loved to build forts and play in the trees with her siblings. A longing for adventure brought Evelyn around the globe for both travel and work (as an international school teacher). She spent ten wonderful years living in Asia, before returning to Europe to be closer to home. She now lives in Spain with her family and two beautiful but suspicious bunnies. Her favourite place to be is in the sea, dreaming up silly stuff.
Evelyn has written an award-winning picture book series about Captain Green, a superhero on a mission to save the planet. She has presented at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content on writing to inspire the next generation of environmentalists. Her forthcoming stories focus on bringing big belly laughs to readers of all ages. Her next picture book will be announced in 2023.
For more about Evelyn, visit the following links:
To purchase Evelyn's books on Amazon, or to leave a review for them, click here.