2020: A recap

Good news in the midst of the global pandemic.
Amandine Thomas
The window of a kids' book shop
While 2020 certainly brought its lot of uncertainties, fears, and bad news, here is a recap of a few of the good things that did happen, especially when it comes to children’s books!

Forets, et Comment les Préserver

In May, slightly delayed by the pandemic, the wonderful Editions Sarbacane published Foret, et comment les preserver, my latest children’s book. If you’ve already laid your hands on its big brother, Océans, et Comment les Sauver, you know the gist: 10 forest ecosystems, amazing plants and animals, and of course the threats they are currently facing. Deforestation, fragmentation, bushfires (sadly a relevant topic in early 2020): the book explores the effects of climate change on the worlds’ forests.

Just like with Océans, kids aged 7 and up are encouraged to act for the protection of each ecosystem, with simple (and accessible) tips. Throughout the book, colourful illustrations, quizzes and fun facts help little readers better understand each ecosystem, with a playful, optimistic tone, yet a real scientific and ecological outlook.

Le Goût des Sciences award

In June, Océans, et Comment les Sauver, published in 2018 by the Editions Sarbacane, was awarded the Le Goût des Sciences award in the children’s books category.

Created in 2009 by the French ministry of higher education and research, Le Goût des Sciences award is a scientific literature award delivered by an interdisciplinary jury. Its goal is to make science more accessible, by valorising the work of the scientific community at large.

A wonderful recognition for Océans, a book aimed to introduce children to the impact of human activities and climate change on the planet. A message delivered with hope, yet without underplaying what has become one the greatest challenges of our time.

Le Prix UNICEF de la Littérature Jeunesse award

And of course, as all good things come in threes, Océans was awarded a third prize in September 2020: The Prix UNICEF de la Littérature Jeunesse award, in the 6-to-8 years old category.

Since 2016, le Prix UNICEF de la Littérature Jeunesse award uses literature to raise awareness around kids’ rights, highlighting children’s books that carry the values of UNICEF. The jury is composed of children aged 3 to 15, who vote for their favourite book amongst a selection curated around a common theme.

In 2020, the theme was “Reading for the planet,” and I am delighted that children themselves voted for Océans, especially in the wake of the global movement “School strike for Climate,” as young people around the world continue to lead the fight against climate change.


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