Hachette Australia is proud to announce the acquisition of The Bushfire Book: How to Be Aware and Prepare, written by Polly Marsden with illustrator Chris Nixon, to be published in September this year, with a percentage of the proceeds going to the Red Cross Bushfire Relief fund.
Since late last year Australia has been suffering under what is being identified as our worst ever bushfire season. In response to this crisis, we are proud to publish a book to teach our children how to cope with the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with this unprecedented national disaster; and to give them tools to feel more empowered and prepared. This book aims to replace confusion with context, worry with knowledge, and hopelessness with a sense of empowerment. It's probably something all of us - no matter our age or experience - could do with right now.
All Australians have been affected by the recent bushfires. Whether experiencing the impact of the fires directly, or having seen the news or experiencing the effects of widespread smoke air quality issues. As a result many may be feeling overhwhelmed and afraid. Parents all over the country have had to explain the bushfires to their children, and this book will accessible for both parents and children to better understand what’s happening and to therefore reduce fear and anxiety.
Jeanmarie Morosin, Hachette Australia Head of Childrens says: ‘It would be hard to find an Australian who has not felt the impact of this current bushfire season. From those communities affected directly by the fires to the homes and families that have watched this crisis unfold across our 24 hour news cycle. Here at Hachette we believe it is important to publish books that can help Australian children understand what these natural disasters mean and how to cope in such tragic times. I am incredibly proud to be work with Polly and Chris to publish such an essential resource at such a critical time’.
Polly Marsden, author says: ‘Understanding is a great antidote to anxiety. This bushfire season has meant many young Australians have been impacted by an immense and tragic natural catastrophe. As the mother of three children, it's actually pretty hard to tell them everything will be ok. Bushfires are no longer confined to country areas. The smoke is writ in the sky of our biggest cities. Everwhere our children look – from their backyard to the screens in their hands – they see a devastation that’s impossible to ignore. The Bushfire Book: How to Be Aware and Prepare is a practical and reassuring book for children, to help them understand what’s happening and what action they thay can take to feel prepared.
Chris Nixon, illustrator says: ‘I was drawn to the project to use my work to contribute and make an impact in any way I can. While our country is experiencing immense grief and dread I’ve been thinking of the impact on the future and our younger generations and I believe that being informed and prepared will help to reduce the collective anxiety and focus on the incredible humanity for an optimistic future. I’m proud to collaborate on a book that speaks directly to young readers to help, even in the smallest form of starting an important conversation.’
Polly Marsden is the creator behind the concept for Big Weather and How To Survive It, a new signature TV series hosted by Craig Reucassel to be broadcast on ABC TV later this year. Polly is a speechwriter and script writer who is passionate about the power of words to inspire positive social change.
Chris Nixon is a multidisciplinary artist creating across illustration, graphic design, creative direction and public art. Based in Perth, Chris’s work is inspired by the West Coast and classic surf culture with an emphasis on the handmade and crafted, using colour, texture and pattern across a wide range of media from children’s books to animation, commercial illustration and large artwork installations.
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In the current climate of uncertainty surrounding school closures and access to books, Hachette Australia will be granting free permissions for online story-time events for those areas in a local lockdown.