There are many midwives present when a narrative is born, and even more are needed when the "baby" is a series of stories and an environmental program. Author, illustrator, editor, translator, publisher, printing company, distributor, book shops, family, relatives, friends, fans - all in all, a lot of people. Although we would have liked to tell you about everyone, we have decided to introduce only two of them. But behind the scenes there are many more who have helped.
Author: Annie Green
I have to admit something to you. I hate biographies, both reading them and writing them. They never deal with what really matters. Education, exams, jobs, honours and awards... who really cares about that? I have never found anything important on such lists.
I am more interested in knowing something about a person's favourites in terms of food, colours and books. I want to know about their dreams and heartaches and their mistakes.
So I'm not going to bore anyone by listing what education I have, which teachers I annoyed or what scholarships I didn't apply for.
I'd rather write about my favourite fridge magnet. This little metal piece became my favourite because it summarizes both of my passions in one statement:
“Take care of the Earth! It's the only planet where they sell books!”
More than 40 years ago I came to this world, and as far back as I can remember I have been speechless with admiration for everything it contains. Water, earth, people, animals, colours and sounds... all of it captivates me. It doesn't matter what gifts I receive: a refreshing shower of summer rain or splashing torrents, boiling hot or icy cold temperatures, rainbow or mud, joy or grief - I think everything is amazing.
The only thing that gives me equal pleasure is my second great passion: reading. I devour everything and read anything I can get hold of. Books or newspapers, advertisements or interviews, women's magazines or scientific journals, a poem or a novel, children's books or comedies and adult tragedies - everything is fair game!
If I ever get a tattoo, I'm sure it will read "I have lived a thousand lives through my books." They have taken me to places I had never thought it possible to go to and I have met countless people I would never have come across outside of the written world. That's how I got to know Mahatma Gandhi, who encouraged me to be the change I want to see in the world. His words were felt in the depths of my heart and I had a thought: What do I really do for this unique planet - the only one where you know you can get books, where there is air to breathe in and where I have lived for some years? What am I really doing to protect it and, if possible, leave it in a better condition than before, for generations to come? Is it enough to be a good example for my children?
Is it enough if I plant a tree, shop consciously, use shopping bags made of cloth, ride bicycles and travel by train, water my plants with rainwater and compost the leaves in the garden? Is this enough? Or can I do more?
No matter how much I tried to be a good role model, I noticed that I can tell my kids (I'll tell you a little secret: I'm the proud mother of three rascals) anything that I like. However, if I don't package it into an interesting, exciting and good story, they don't hear a word of what I say. So I got hold of a book about the environment... Or, I tried to get one, but I couldn't find one that contained what I wanted. I thought to myself «God helps those who help themselves», so I had to write one for them myself. It was a brave plan, but this first step was the difficult one. The next led me straight to Waste Works Yard.
But let us not forget what is most important: My favourite colour is red, I like everything with dots, my favorite food is sushi but I love all kinds of seafood, and after 17 years I sometimes wish I could be in a house without kids for two days. In addition, I regret that I did not write the manuscript of my favourite story long ago. Fortunately, no one else has done it yet, so maybe sometime in the future.
Illustrator: Igor Lazin
Igor Lazin is from Novi Knezevac in Serbia. He illustrates children's books and magazines and directs animation films and advertisements. He has participated in several group and individual exhibitions with his drawings and other works.
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