Kindy teacher's book inspires kids to become wildlife warriors

Trudie McKay has been educating children about respecting and protecting our environment for many years.

The Sunshine Coast mother, kindergarten teacher and now author has self-published a book designed to teach children how to be environmental warriors and care for our precious wildlife.

The delightful 24-page full colour book, printed by Express Print & Mail, explores the adventures of Trevy, a turtle who lives in the Pacific Ocean with other wondrous creatures. But Trevy is faced with challenges caused by the actions of people, including the impact of plastic pollution on him and his other ocean-dwelling friends.

Kit creates conservation awareness

Many children have a strong affinity with turtles and our south east Queensland beaches are popular nesting places for sea turtles which come ashore to lay eggs in the dunes. This local connection is why Trudie chose a turtle as the symbol for a resource pack she has created which now includes the book.

The resource kits have been igniting conversations with children at the various kindergartens where Trudie has taught for many years. Originally consisting of a hand-made book with laminated pages and a plush green sea turtle in a cloth bag, children take it in turns to take the kit home with the challenge of showing the turtle how they look after the environment.

“Feedback from families was really positive and parents were saying that the kit was making them all aware about how they could do more as a family. It became a valuable awareness piece that started conversations at home and at kindy,” Trudie said.

When Trudie started receiving positive feedback from other educators and parents, she decided to create a more formal written resource which became Trevy’s Tricky Day.

“To appeal to children, I thought it was important to have a story as well as a message. I started writing the book and then connected with a local publishing company who looked after all the illustrations. It all came together quite quickly once I got started,” she said.

Trudie’s children, Cameron and Codi, even make a cameo as the crabs that help Trevy out when one of his flippers becomes stuck in plastic.

Together with husband Stuart, the beach loving family provided feedback, input and support along the way, with visits to their local beach at Warana helping to evolve the storyline and messaging.

Locally designed and printed

It was important to Trudie to keep the book local which is why she chose Express Print & Mail for the printing.

“With EPM, it was such an easy process. I had an example of another book which was exactly how I wanted this one to look. Express Print & Mail offered the best price and the best service. The final product is beautiful. I love it and I haven’t found a copy yet that isn’t perfect,” Trudie said.

Around 250 copies of the book have already been sold, which is beyond Trudie’s expectations. 

“I’ve had fabulous feedback and people especially love the way the book talks about practical and child-friendly things that we can do to look after the environment, like putting your rubbish in the bin and filling in holes before you leave the beach.”

Trudie is currently working on the second book in the series so watch this space!

Trevy’s Tricky Day and the resource packs are available for sale on Trudie’s website Beach Life Books.