Local author Nicole Godwin is equal parts environmental activist and wordsmith.
In between working part-time with the Federal Government, being a Mum to three boys and chasing after an energetic dog named Moose, Godwin built an international following with animal lovers and families through her publishing house, Tusk Books.
“My passion started with animal rights and it soon became apparent that animal rights are intertwined with helping the environment,” Godwin explained.
“I always intended to write a series of picture books… as my books provide the opportunity for me to combine my two loves and help entertain and educate the next generation.”
Speaking at The Global Wave Conference on the Gold Coast this month, Godwin explained that it was this love of educating younger audiences that inspired her first two self-published books ‘Billie’ (2018), ‘Ella’ (2016), as well as the release of her latest picture book ‘Jelly-Boy’.
The unconventional and cautionary conservation tale of her recent title follows the story of a jellyfish that falls in love with a plastic bag she mistakes for a jelly-boy.
“The book is important on a few levels. Firstly, the act of reading and creating a love of books is important to encourage a generation of readers and children interested in information, ideas and creativity,” Godwin said.
“The text does not say that plastic bags are bad, instead, the little reader is taken on a journey where they invest in the characters and see the issues for themselves and make up their own mind.”
But this effusive author has her heart set on more than sparking conversations, she is determined to inspire change.
“I am invested in conservation because I believe everyone needs to do their part to help stop and hopefully reverse the significant issues our planet is facing, from global warming to ocean and land pollution,” she said.
“Every individual can make a difference and help be a part of the solution,” she said.
“We can rethink our usage of plastics, recycle more, compost, eat more plant based foods, move towards renewable energy, and rethink our transport choices, especially plane travel.”
Nicole launched this book as the curtain-raiser event for The Global Wave Conference, as well as presenting in the ‘Inspiring the Next Generation Through Story’ workshop.
“I realised that the timing (of the conference) may also work out to launch ‘Jelly-Boy’ and raised this idea with the incredible organising committee who jumped at the change.”
“We are all aware of how important it is to inspire the next generation and make sure we inspire new advocates for our planet. It just made sense to draw them into the conference in this way.”
‘Jelly-Boy’ by Nicole Godwin, is illustrated by Christopher Nielsen and published by Walker Books Australia. It is suitable for children ages 3+ and is available now.