Diving to the Depths with Anne Helen Donnelly

#OrisCleanUp #BlogTour #BooksOnTour #Day3

What does being environmentally friendly really mean to Anne? How does she promote this topic with her young audience? Want to know? Let’s go! 🙂

Thanks for swimming on by to the tours once again, Anne! It’s wonderful to have you back. 😇

Congratulations on the third title in your Ori series, Ori’s Clean-Up! I know this environmental topic is near and dear to your heart, and for good reason! Please tell us a bit about why keeping our oceans clean means so much to you and our future generations. 🐙

I feel that taking care of our world is important, and our oceans are so central to our world’s entire functioning. I do feel so sad and angry when I see sea creatures ingesting plastics and other rubbish, and this has contributed to their demise. I feel that we are all capable of making changes in our routines and becoming less consumerist. This is partly attributed to my upbringing. In my early years, growing up in Malta, even water was scarce. I remember having a bath in a shallow tub, but I still had fun. I try and conserve and reuse, recycle etc in every aspect of my life.

Ori’s Clean-Up is endorsed by Clean Up Australia. How did you go about obtaining this endorsement? How will your partnership help spread the word about environmental sustainability?

I spoke to Clean Up Australia on numerous occasions. This is not a partnership as such, but I did appreciate their endorsement. Apparently, they do turn a lot of books away if they feel the message isn’t completely aligned with their ethos. And on my last visit to their office, they absolutely loved the finished product. They loved its simplicity and clear message and that I am targeting a younger age group (4 – 8) as these littlies are our planet’s future.

What kinds of activities or presentations do you offer audiences when conducting author visits? What events do you have planned for Ori’s Clean-Up?

After I read the book we discuss what each one of us can do to help our environment. The kids in the audience so far have been so environmentally aware, it makes me so proud! Then I often finish up with a fun game, depending on the age of the audience. Either a drawing game, or we recreate a Fairy tale or we make up a story together. I have already started on my book tour this month in Port Macquarie. I have loads of events, too many to list here so see my website under Current and Upcoming events.

Your previous titles include Ori the Octopus and Ori’s Christmas, maintaining the values of friendship, teamwork and interpersonal skills throughout. Was this intentional when developing your series? Did you plan all three books from the beginning or did each develop spontaneously?

A bit of both. A loose plan with fine tuning along the way. Although I have always wanted to get a book out there for young children with an environmental message as this has always resonated with me.

You’ve also included an element of interaction in each of your books. How do you hope this helps readers engage, not only with the text, but with the message of your story?

I wanted to engage the young reader who’s attention span is limited. They can join in the reading with actions and there are loads of activities available on my website free to download. Great fun for the kids and a quiet 5 minutes for Mum.

Ori’s Clean-Up is the third title you’ve written, illustrated and self-published all yourself. Wow! What have you learned and mastered along the way in each of these fortes? Do you still find some areas challenging?

I have learnt loads and loads and I am still learning. This is why I decided to run a workshop: Creating a Children’s Picture Book, for which I have received really great feedback. Recently, I have been trying to upgrade my website and this is the most challenging area for me so far. I think I am almost there with some really great help, but it is still my least favourite thing.

What’s next for Anne Donnelly? Possibly a fourth title in the Ori series, or something completely new? We’d love to know!

I am trying to concentrate on getting Ori’s Clean-Up out there so I haven’t thought too much about ‘after’ yet. Taronga zoo, both in Sydney and at Dubbo, are stocking my book so I need to keep on marketing for now for some more wins ideally.

Thanks again for your insightful responses! And here’s to cleaner, more sparkly oceans from now on! 😊

Connect with Anne at her website.

#authorarticle #saveourplanet #environmentalawareness

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