Now for the good news by Planet Ark

cover image

To the future generations of our beautiful planet,
may you remember us not for what we didn’t do,
but what we did, as you set out to do even better.

Planet Ark Environmental Foundation is a not-for-profit Australian organisation renowned for leading environmental change and educating individual, communities, businesses and governments. In their newly published book, Now for the Good News, they are thoughtfully providing positive moments to be shared with children aged from eight years old but may be highly beneficial for upper primary/early secondary.

Now for the Good News is divided into the five clearly defined chapters with the problems occurring in each followed by a blue section that shares the good things that are happening.

Chapter 1: Blue Planet. This chapter mentions oceans, the water cycle, the greenhouse effect and how our oceans are suffering from human abuse. In the blue section it mentions the Seabin, ocean clean up, how Australian schools are taking action plus other innovative ideas including 11 year old Ned Heaton who set up a company called The Turtle Tribe to erase plastic from oceans.

Chapter 2 The Power of Nature. This chapter looks at nature’s cycles: rock, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. It looks at the earth and the importance of soils and how is being mismanaged. In the good news section, we hear about regenerative farming, seed banks and the importance of trees and the habitats they provide.

Chapter 3 The Human Cycle. This chapter is more complex and considers the now overuse of resources by humans. There is an excellent diagram in this chapter, simple in its design using the words; Take / Make / Waste (p71). The good news section looks at solar energy, poo power and innovations in schools, councils and businesses to reduce waste

Chapter 4 Social Innovation. Further develops the circular economy discussed in Chapter 3 and the desire to make money at the expanse of the environment i.e. the coal industry in Australia. The good news section features a small school in Manyallaluk that is doing amazing things in recycling, wildlife monitoring and the planting of trees. This is a remote community working together to make change.  

Chapter 5 The Future. The message is out. We need to take action. The good news section gives further information on plastics, electric cars plus social media influencers who are advocating for change.

This is a positive book to share with children who do worry about the world they are living in. For younger middle grade children sharing the information with adults may be of benefit as some of the ideas and facts mentioned may need further explanation.  Now for the Good News contains clearly labelled diagrams, infographics and illustrations that will add to understanding many of the issues discussed. Teaching notes are available.

Themes: Environmental Issues, Solutions, Global Community.

Kathryn Beilby