Posted: 11 February, 2020

Putney Alumnae Write Environmental Children's Book

Alumnae, News

Alumnae Lucy Silver and Rosie Chomet (class of 2012) have collaborated to create a children’s book together for CPRE (the countryside charity), to celebrate starry night skies and raise awareness of light pollution.

The storybook ‘Gem and I’, written by Lucy and illustrated by Rosie, follows the journey of a very sparky (and very Putney!) young girl who inspires her community to help take care of the environment.

Author, Lucy Silver said:

“From my experience in fundraising and the third sector, much of our work is about getting audiences to engage emotionally with the cause, in order to prompt people to take positive action. Stories are a powerful way to help people connect to causes. I wanted to write a story that was hopeful at heart, and showed that by working together as communities, we can help protect our environment.

As an environmental issue, light pollution can seem quite intangible but the consequences are significant for us all. The energy and carbon footprint of excessive lighting is very wasteful, whilst the erosion of our starry skies is upsetting for humans but also harmful for biodiversity and wildlife who rely on stars for navigation, hunting, and finding mates.

It was so good to be able to work with Rosie as an illustrator. I’ve admired her work since school and have been waiting for an opportunity to collaborate – this project felt perfect!”

Illustrator, Rosie Chomet said:

“Illustrating Gem and I was a really exciting project that combined three of my passions — the environment, portraying strong female characters, and children’s book illustration.

Before starting any full scenes, I created character sketches of Gem, showing the client a few different options of what she might look like, from her hairstyle to her outfits. Once this was decided on, I began working up the illustrations for each page, initially focusing on just the line work. There were several more rounds of revisions, and after each round I would add more detail, colour and texture.”

The CPRE February Star Count

The pair have also written and illustrated a free educational pack in conjunction with the CPRE’s Star Count which takes place this February. The information from this project will help CPRE to plan with local communities about what they can do to tackle light pollution in their area.

Click here to find out more information about how you can get involved.

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