Tasmanian author, Sarah Jane Moore, provides insights into her recent publication River Business created with the support of local illustrator Errin Polegaj. Explore the unlikely friendship between a Tasmanian native bettong and a rabbit as they explore their local river.
|River Business: © Sarah Jane Moore & Errin Polegaj|
River Business Children’s Book
The River Business children’s book shows the power of kindness and friendship. Tasmanian wildlife, landscapes and connections have inspired all elements of the book, from character development through to printing. Tasmania is known as a place of great natural beauty and telling Tasmanian stories like this one will help build a shared understanding of place, for locals and visitors. E
The book shines a light on the Tasmanian Bettong (Bettongia gaimardi). The Tasmanian Bettong is a small, kangaroo-like marsupial, with small paws, large feet and a very long tail. You’ll find the Bettong in Eastern Tasmania, where they enjoy eucalypt forests and grassy woodlands. They are nocturnal animals, spending daylight hours in camouflaged grassy nests. Once common throughout Australia, this species is now extinct in mainland Australia and is wholly protected with a near threatened status. The introduction of the European rabbit, land clearing and excessive grazing of stock are the main factors that have led to the decline in the population.
Internal page from River Business. © Sarah Jane Moore & Errin Polegaj
The Creative Story behind River Business
The author Sarah Jane Moore and the illustrator Errin Polegaj met during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020. As neighbours they became friends. By the river, their children played, and River Business was conceptualised. Through their collaboration, Sarah Jane and Errin developed a climate friendly children’s book that valued each other’s perspectives, creativities and learnings. The book honours the river and emphasises the importance of listening, caring and connecting to our natural water ways and engaging in nature-based play.
Kind to the planet
Sustainable practices are important to Sarah Jane and Errin and the book is printed on 100% recycled paper using vegetable / soy-based inks. To avoid plastic, the paper is uncoated. It has a stapled spine instead of harmful glues. At the end of its life, after being read by many children and adults, River Business can make its way back to the earth as compost.
About the author
Sarah Jane Moore is an independent creative artist with a background in early learning, Reconciliation and creative projects. She lives in Tasmania and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Buy the book at Fullers Book Shop, The Hobart Book Store, The State Bookstore, Hobart Dymocks, Lily & Dot or direct through the web site https://www.riverbusiness.com.au/.
Editor's note: This beautifully and thoughtfully crafted book is ideal to support studies on the Tasmanian environment and wildlife and for sustainability discussions. Visit the website to source some useful teaching ideas.