We speak to Singapore- based, Irish expat EVELYN BOOKLESS about her recently released children’s book Captain Green and the Plastic Scene – the story of a superhero on a mission to save animals from plastic pollution.
Evelyn’s love of picture books began as a child and only grew once she became a parent and primary school teacher. While teaching in Hong Kong six years ago, Evelyn began writing children’s stories and has been able to share her work regularly with other writers since moving to Singapore and joining the Society of Children’s Book Writers here.
What inspired you to write Captain Green and the Plastic Scene?
I was inspired to write it while on holiday in Bintan, Indonesia. I was saddened by the amount of plastic waste that had washed up on the beach near our hotel. I decided to write a story about this to try to engage children in the fight against ocean pollution, and I thought a superhero was just what was needed to try to fix things.
Did your five-year-old son help with the book in any way?
My son inspires me with story ideas all the time. Danny Deeptown, who illustrated the book, loosely based Captain Green on my son, which I loved, of course. He added his own baby boy in, too.
What do you hope kids take away from this story?
That if we all make some small changes in our daily lives, we can make a big difference to ocean pollution. It’s not too late.
I have had a lot of lovely feedback from parents and children telling me how they’ve been inspired to make a difference after reading Captain Green. This has meant the world to me.
What are some ways you practice being “green” on a daily basis?
Over the years, I’ve incorporated lots of small changes for environmental and health reasons. I think it’s important for people not to get overwhelmed and then end up doing nothing. Changing things bit by bit is a great way to start. We use metal straws, bamboo toothbrushes, beeswax food wraps, glass storage containers, “to go” bottles and cups, and natural toiletries and cleaning products. We recycle as much as we can, and I am mindful of buying products with less or no packaging. I’m moving away from buying synthetic fabrics, as microfibres pollute the water. Education is key, really. I have discovered how much children really care about this topic, and many parents tell me the changes their children have been suggesting. Let’s hope they get to inherit a cleaner Earth in the future.
What’s next for you?
I have been asked for more Captain Green stories and I’m working on the next one. Luckily, my publishers are keen to hear more from him, too.