To celebrate World Book Day 2021, Size of Wales is proud to release a new children’s story about the importance of rainforests and what we can do to protect them.
‘Tim Tom and the Rainforest’ is written by Size of Wales Education and Youth Engagement Manager, Laura Murphy, and our Education and Outreach Officer, Elin Crowley. Elin has also drawn fantastic illustrations to bring the story to life and engage children in its narrative.
Looking through the eyes of TimTom the Orangutang, readers are taken on a journey to see how everyday items, such as coffee and chocolate, are causing damaging deforestation that is having a huge impact on the environment. It also shows what we can do to protect forests and creatures like TimTom.
A free PDF of the book is available here along with a video of the story narrated by Elin below. Size of Wales will be using the story as a resource in future school workshops and are hoping to publish new stories in the future.
Learn more about the story and how it was made in the below Q&A.
If you work in a school interested in inviting Size of Wales to run a workshop, learn more here and get in touch.
Please consider donating to Size of Wales to help us produce more educational content on tropical forests and climate change.
Q & A with the authors and illustrator
Elin: What inspired you to write the story?
As an education outreach officer for Size of Wales, I always think about the best possible way to explain the importance of the rainforest to children, and what better way to do that than in a story? I am an artist and have been considering working on a children’s book for a long time, so this was the perfect opportunity! I really enjoyed bringing Tim Tom alive in the Illustrations and hope the children enjoy reading about her, whilst learning at the same time.
Laura: Tell us about the character of Tim Tom
We wanted to use a lovable animal to engage with the very youngest children, but that could also share the important message of protecting our tropical forests with all ages. The reader sees the issues through Tim Tom’s eyes and immediately wants to protect her and her home. We also have a Tim Tom puppet, who comes along to our school workshops!
Elin: The illustrations are beautiful, how are they created?
Firstly I think about the characters in the story, where they are and what’s around them. I think about the best place to place them on the page, leaving room to add the words later.
Then, I sketch the page with a pencil, then colour it in with watercolour. Once it’s dried, I add the dark lines with a pen. To finish off I scan it into the computer and use a programme called Photoshop to tidy it up, make sure the colours are correct and add the words.
Laura: The book is sharing an important message, what is it?
The message is that we all need to do our bit to help protect the rainforests and there are simple ways in which we can help, such as being more aware when we are shopping for products. Follow up resources will guide teachers and children through the topic of sustainable palm oil, but the story is a lovely, simple starting point for discussion.
Elin: Why is it so important to teach children about rainforests and deforestation?
The rainforest is important to every person on the planet, and deforestation is an enormous problem. We might not realise it’s happening as we live in Wales, but it’s important to understand that we all have a responsibility to do what we can to save it. The rainforests are important to the animals and people who live there, and to the Earth as they reduce so much Carbon which is harmful to our planet.
Laura: Who do you hope will read this story?
Anyone and everyone from 1 to 100! It would be fantastic to see teachers using this with children of all ages to inspire them to take action, but also I would like to think it’s a lovely story to read and reread at bedtime.