Shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council Crichton Award 2017

‘A Patch from Scratch’ published March 2016 by Penguin Random House.

‘A Patch from Scratch’ follows the adventures of one family, living in an urban setting, who decide to live a more sustainable lifestyle. The journey begins as they plan and plant, raise chicks, and build compost. But it’s not all smooth sailing, and they soon run into trouble…

In today’s fast food and throwaway society, children are missing the experience of connecting with the natural rhythms of life and nature. So are many adults, leading to the rise of interest in sustainable ecology, and the whole food movement. This is evidenced by the popularity of garden programs in schools such as the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden project, Jamie Oliver’s latest promotion with Woolworths, and tv programs such as Costa’s Garden Odyssey, and Gourmet Farmer.

My story “A Patch from Scratch” is one city family’s response to these ideas. They live on a small urban block, but use their resourcefulness to build a more sustainable life under these constraints. Pitched at 4-8 year olds, the story also aims to encourage and inform the adult reader and motivate a whole family response to the issue.

‘A Patch from Scratch’ also addresses key components of the new ‘Australian Curriculum’ in schools across multi- year levels.

Young readers are introduced to words and phrases that surround these ideas of sustainable ecology, and a glossary of terms is attached to the text to assist children to understand these concepts.

An author’s note has been included to introduce sustainable ecology to both young and older readers alike.