The illustrated book “Once Upon The Future: Everyday Adventures Change the World” is written by six sustainability scientists, inspired by their own research. The result is an anthology of fictional stories written for children aged 7-12 on various ways to support sustainability. Each story is sprinkled with humour and magical realism, enlivened with beautiful illustrations, and complemented by educational resources and guiding questions.
Using simple yet vibrant language, the stories convey insights on circular food economies, rural development and cultural textile traditions, forest commoning practices, biodiversity conservation and regeneration, youth in urban governance, and the importance of values and imagination for sustainability leadership.
The book is complete at 350 pages and includes 35 full colour illustrations by artist Rita Reis. It will be published with BABIDI-BÚ Libros, an ethical independent publishing house based in Spain, specialising in children’s literature.
The authors have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to secure the final editing, graphic design, printing, and distribution of the books, as well as conversion to an eBook format. The more funds they raise, the more books they will be able to hand out to schools, libraries, and NGOs. Any additional funds would be used to translate “Once Upon a Future” into additional languages (starting with Spanish, Italian, Greek, and Romanian).
What can be expected by the young of heart of all ages?
- Join Charlie, a big nosed carrot, as he battles the gang of plastic bottles and searches for the great compost heap.
- Follow Alma and Helio as they discover magical creatures and secret natural realms, while searching for the Skunk Cabbage, a rare plant that can save their forest from destruction.
- Meet Olivia who never spends time outdoors until a new classmate from a distant land shows her the joy of street play.
- Gather around the campfire to hear one-eyed Aunt Bloom tell stories of a secret society – the Cosmos Mariners – who battle the Hungry Ghosts destroying our planet.
- Go through a magic portal into the Wood Wide Web with Brunaia – a girl who has fused with a young oak tree to restore the lost equilibrium between humans and forests.
- Attend a fashion show with young Jaime, who has put his reputation on the line to show off his grandmother’s traditional linen.
“Once Upon The Future” also serves as educational material thanks to the guiding questions and a companion workbook for educators.