Childhood friends of twelve years from Tooting and Balham publish their first children’s book to educate about plastic pollution in the sea.
Lizzie Nightingale, 28, an UX designer from Balham and Ellie Boyle, 27, a civil servant from Tooting, published Poseidon’s Plastic Problem, on 16 November.
The pair have lived in south west London all their and lives and have been firm friends since going to Streatham and Clapham High School together, bonding on the 319 school bus.
Poseidon’s Plastic Problem, is set under the sea and tells the tale of Poseidon’s struggle to deal with the plastic pollution engulfing his kingdom.
On what inspired them to write the book the pair said: “We’d both been looking for a creative outlet alongside our main jobs, and so the idea naturally just happened over a cup of tea one day.
“Lizzie has always drawn quirky little characters, and Ellie has always written funny little poems, so we thought why not combine that and create a children’s book.
“We wanted to make something, particularly for 3-5 year olds, that felt accessible and fun but also had an important message.
“It’s hard to ignore the environmental impact plastic has, so that felt like a good premise for our book.”
Although the duo describe the effect of single use plastic on the seas as “heartbreaking” they were keen to use the book to spread the message that there are things children can do to help save the seas.
They said: “It was key for us that the messaging in our book wasn’t too gloomy, but instead a gentle and fun way to introduce concepts around reducing, reusing and recycling.”
Lockdown gave the pair the time and motivation to finish the book they had been drafting since 2019, as both had been juggling full-time jobs alongside creating the tale.
They said: “We can’t believe that now we can hold a physical copy in our hands!”
They attribute their book’s success to support from their local communities and as they believe parents are keen to find resources for younger children to teach them about environmental issues.
On the future of Poseidon and his fishy friends the pair said: “We’d love to do more books!
“There are so many different issues around the environment and climate change that we’d like to explore, we feel like we’ve only scratched the surface.
“We feel so passionately that children should learn about this when they’re younger so they can grow up to influence the world around them.”
Readers of the children’s book can buy a paperback or kindle version on Amazon, for more illustrations follow @lizzie_illustrates, and for educational resources on how to help combat plastic pollution see https://www.kidsagainstplastic.co.uk