Inspiring the next generation

Edmonton teacher Antoinette Jordan has written a children’s book themed around environmental issues

Antoinette Jordan with a copy of her book My Beautiful Island
Antoinette Jordan with a copy of her book My Beautiful Island

The idea of writing an environmentally-friendly book arose as an act of love for the environment.

This was influenced by my childhood and upbringing when I spent time a lot of time playing outdoors in the park or garden. I had my own garden patch and we had a lovely lavender hedge and compost heap.

Aged ten, I left England to live in Nigeria. I enjoyed rock climbing, taking my dog for walks, and travelling to different states with my family. On these trips mum explained geographical features, landscape and vegetation. It was fascinating, and I developed a love for travelling and environmental issues.

Mum suggested I write a book with an environmental theme including the ‘three Rs’ of reduce, reuse and recycle. She was an expert at this, creating an awesome garden using a variety of materials. It was a great idea, so it became the central theme of my story. But I also wanted readers to know about the endangered sea turtles in St Vincent and the Grenadines, so I included this in the story as well.

My Beautiful Island was written in 2020 during lockdown. I was at home doing nothing, so I decided it was a good time to write it. It began with a story plan which evolved over time. I did some research work on St Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as on dogs! This may sound strange, but they play an important role in the story.

Finally, Sophie the protagonist was created as a role model to address the issue of fly-tipping in St Vincent and to inspire positive change. The character is Afro-Caribbean, because I wanted to raise the profile of black books as there are not many of them around and also give children an opportunity to learn about Caribbean culture.

I believe it is a great family book with a universal theme, as it is our responsibility to look after our environment. I know Enfield residents like myself are upset with fly-tipping in the borough, so I think this book provides an opportunity to educate the next generation about the issue.

The story has been described as “amazing, thoughtful and exciting” by children who have read it so far. There are other lovely reviews on my Instagram page.

My Beautiful Island is available to buy online:
Instagram @antoinettejordan14