ONE WORLD26th May 2023
One World begins at midnight, a time of magic and transformation in all stories. But, although the journey that the two children make is one that happens in imagination, spanning the whole globe in the time it takes the clock to strike 12, the places they visit are real. The children visit wild locations on land and in the ocean, at dawn, mid day, dusk and night, experiencing different time zones and a variety of different habitats.
On one level this is a story to encourage a sense of wonder about the natural world and to bring about an awareness the extraordinary and marvellous life in which our planet is still clothed. I loved to look at maps as a child, to trace coastlines, mountains and forests and imagine what animals and people lived under the track of my curious finger. It made me want to explore the world but it also thrilled me to to think of jungles and deserts, mountain tops and ocean trenches existing at the same time as me, right now on earth. I loved to think of the world turning, with light and darkness following each other across the curved face of the planet, and all of us, humans and animals and plants aboard our natural ‘spaceship’. The delight that I felt back then has never left me and I hope One World will help readers share it. Although I have been lucky enough to explore the Earth a bit there are many places I will never get to, many creatures I will never see, yet I still delight in them. Just knowing that I share my home world with giant anteaters is enough, even if I never get to see one in the wild!
But One World has another layer of information and meaning. In each place they visit the young travellers learn about the threats that these wild places face from human activity- deforestation, hunting, climate change - and what humans could do and are doing to help. I know that some adults think that children should not be presented with any of life’s harsh realities, but in the modern world of TV and smart phones we can’t wrap our kids in cotton wool. I feel it’s my job as a writer for children to tell them the truth about their world, in a way they can understand. And the truth about the natural world is that although we humans have caused terrible destruction, there is hope. Given the chance, nature can recover and thrive and humans can choose to give nature that chance.
In the face of climate chaos and biodiversity crisis I know that many children - and adults - feel afraid and powerless. The messages delivered by mainstream media either ignore the problems altogether or are very negative, encouraging a feeling of hopelessness. So, my aim in writing One World was to counter both ignorance and negativity; to outline problems clearly but to show that there are solutions; to demonstrate that humans can change their behaviour and invite children to be part of that change.
Climate Change is a huge problem. It will come to dominate the lives of the next several generations of humans. But in our efforts to combat climate chaos, nature is our greatest ally. Restoring the diversity and balance of complex ecosystems on land and in the sea will soak up more carbon than any human geo engineering project ever could. Reading One World and talking about the issues it raises with your child is a way to help with that restoration because it begins with knowledge, and with the ability imagine the real wild places that nourish and create our One World.
THINGS TO TALK ABOUT, THINGS TO DO
MAP YOUR WORLD
Look at maps. Start with at the scale of your locality and make a copy your children can draw on. Encourage them to mark places they know and things they’ve seen, especially of course, animals, plants - old trees are a good thing to mark. Talk about what your map might have shown 20, 50 100 and 200 years ago. What could be added or taken away from your map for there to be more animals and plants.
Do the same for maps that show a bigger and bigger area…whole county, whole state, whole continent, whole world. Research what animals and plants are found at different locations on your maps.
MAP YOUR FAMILY/ FRIENDS/ COMMUNITY IN SPACE AND TIME
Where on the map are the people you care about? Where were they 5 years ago? Talk to people in your community - especially the old ones and map where they were when they were children. Where on a map might your own great grandchildren be?
BE A GOOD ANCESTOR
Some indigenous people have a tradition of looking back seven generations - 210 years, and forward seven generations so they can learn from the past and do the best for the people who come after them.
Are there things in your environment that were put there by a person 210 years ago…big buildings, old trees for example. What can you do to make life better for people in 210 years’ time? How might doing something good for your descendants make you feel?
One world : 24 hours on planet Earth
Nicola Davies and Jenni Desmond's first collaboration: a spectacular tour of Planet Earth and a powerful rallying cry. Where on Earth are you, right now? It's late where I am and almost everyone's asleep, but I'm awake, looking out into the night. Wondering... As the clock strikes midnight, a little girl and her sister visit animals of every shape and size, all around the world - discovering that, in some places, creatures have just started their day, where in others they're already busy hunting for food. Turning the popular concept of time-zones on its head and combining it with a powerful climate message and delightful illustrations, this book is narrative non-fiction at its most spellbinding. "Nicola Davies is one of the best children's writers in the business." Huffington Post"Jenni Desmond knows just how to make children's precious imaginations soar." GuardianMore Details