The Wilderness Society’s Environment Award for Children’s Literature


Each year the Wilderness Society acknowledges children’s books that “promote a love of nature, and a sense of caring and responsibility for the environment”. Awards are given in three categories – Fiction, Picture Fiction and Non-Fiction. The 2016 winners were announced in September.

This year, two books jointly received the environmental book award for Picture Fiction – “Seagull” by Danny Snell and “Once I heard a Wombat” by Renee Treml.


“Seagull” is a beautifully illustrated story of how a young boy helps a seagull caught in fishing line left on the beach. This book is excellent for students in K-2 to understand how our actions impact the creatures that share our environment. This book is available in the school library.


phasmidThe short list for the Picture Fiction category included “Phasmid” by Rohan Cleave which tells the story of survival of the Lord Howe Island stick insect. Phasmids were thought to be extinct, and this book creatively tells their story of survival. This is a great book for kids who love nature, and is available from the school library.

atmosphericCarole Wilkinson won the outstanding non-fiction award for her book “Atmospheric” which is an engaging chapter book on climate science. The book is interesting in that it combines narratives and fact to explain the nature and impact of climate change. Each chapter opens with a personal account of an aspect of global warming. Chapter 2 begins with a short story set in 1843 from the perspective of a young boy on his first day working in an underground coal mine. The chapter then explains how coal and oil were formed and the impact of carbon. This is an excellent book for children 9+.

by Catherine Whittaker

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