I love to have guest blogs here and I find it’s such a great way to share stories, learn something new and to share our own passions. My guest blogger today is Ellie Jackson who has recently returned to the UK after having lived abroad for many years and being involved in conservation work. Ellie has written the wonderful tale of Duffy the Sea Turtle .
Ellie Jackson and illustrator Liz Oldmeadow, are two mums with 5 children between them who met at mother’s group when their sons were babies. A chance discussion over coffee led the mums to discover their mutual talents and so began a partnership that after many months of juggling children and other commitments has finally led to Duffy’s message being ready to be shared. Here’s more about her story.
I never thought about becoming an author, it was a process that I fell into by reason of circumstance and luck. An amazing opportunity to live for a year on a tropical island in the Great Barrier Reef was not something that I ever thought would lead to a new direction for me – we moved there as a family for beaches and adventure! The most beautiful beaches, framed by palm trees and sunsets, just how you would imagine an island paradise to be.
We didn’t wear shoes for a year, we had our own pool, and a great circle of friends. My three children were all under school age and it was the perfect chance for us as a family to experience a more laid back approach to life and give our kids real freedom. My husband works from home and this allowed us the opportunity to try something different before we had to start real life when our eldest started school.
We heard about a turtle release happening on one of the beaches – I have to say I didn’t realise what a big deal this event was going to be – the whole island turned out plus TV cameras and journalists. When it was time for the turtle to be put back into the water, we formed two lines into the sea and the turtle was released on the beach and immediately headed for the sea and was gone in a matter of seconds.
It was a surprisingly emotional experience to see this turtle who had spent a year in the aquarium getting fit and healthy again, returning to her ocean home. After the turtle release, we visited the Turtle Hospital on the mainland and heard all the different reasons as to why turtles need our help – one of which is where they suffer from eating too much plastic. As soon as my young children had made the link between plastic on the beach and turtles, every time we went to the beach they were running around picking up rubbish saying “Mummy, I’m saving a turtle!”. Well that was it for me, I was amazed at how such a simple true story could motivate and encourage such enthusiasm for picking up rubbish!
Duffy’s Lucky Escape is a beautifully illustrated book teaching children about the dangers of ocean plastics without overwhelming them. The powerful message is delivered in a fun and friendly way and ends by inspiring children to make changes to their own and their families lives. A perfect present for Christmas or gift to your child’s school, please visit duffytheseaturtle.com to order your copy for just £7.99 with a percentage of all profits going to UK national marine charities.
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Thank you so much Ellie for joining us today and telling us about the events leading you to write your book.