A new book release about how all young Canadians have the power to save the Earth
“It was the middle of the day, yet the sun was nowhere to be found. The land had been cloaked with a sense of perpetual despair and darkness for a week now. Throughout the entire country, the skies were filled with looming thunderclouds, yet no rain ever came. It was just dull and grey. Often, black butterflies could be seen flapping their large obscure wings as the horror they carried with them lay untold. Each flap brought a sinister hissing sound that pierced the heart of all those who heard it with an immediate sense of dread.”
- Excerpt from The Forces of Nature: Gaia’s Child
Last week a startling report was released by Environment and Climate Change Canada that announced that Canada is warming up twice as fast as the rest of the world. This news was an awakening to many and a warning impossible to ignore.
It seems perfect timing that environmentalist duo, Chúk Odenigbo and Samantha Matters of The Poison and The Apple, have released their first illustrated, bilingual book The Forces of Nature: Gaia’s Child. With the support of MEC Outdoor Nation and Ocean Wise’s Ocean Bridge programme, the environmentally-informed non-profit organization has produced a book geared for teens and young adults, that aims to increase the environmental awareness of younger generations.
The story is a captivating allegory that examines the human relationship to nature through a cast of vivid and insightful characters. It takes place in a doomed world where Nature has been captured by a great evil. The days are dark and gloomy and everything on Earth is suffering. Thus, The Forces of Nature, a diverse team of young superheroes, are called to the rescue and inspire us all that we must do what is right to protect our relationship to nature. Readers are likely to find a character of a similar demographic to themselves or at least one they can easily relate to.
With charming illustrations by Andie Lafrentz, the authors have created a story to empower young readers to be custodians of the environment and reframe our relationship with nature. It’s a direct response to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal #3 to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages”. Spending time in nature has been statistically proven time and again to improve our well-being and happiness levels, therefore the authors are motivated to get this message across and do so in an artistic and entertaining way.
Alarming news about climate change keeps filling our news feeds and minds. However Chúk and Samantha offer hope and encourage all young Canadians to spend more time outside and enjoy the great outdoors in their own unique ways. The Forces of Nature was inspired by a project the authors had worked on together for the Canadian Parks Council called The Nature Playbook. The project’s aim was and still is to designate that nature as a place for all and even suggests ways each of us can connect with the environment.
The Forces of Nature was a collaborative effort of 7 young Canadians under 30 years old:
Chúk Odenigbo (Calgary, Alberta) - Cofounder of The Poison and The Apple
Samantha Matters (Mannville, Alberta) - Cofounder of The Poison and The Apple
Andie Lafrentz (Edmonton, Alberta) - Artist
Sara Qarizada (Toronto, Ontario) - Graphic Designer
Vickie Arsenault (Lorraine, Québec) - French Editor
Zico He (Toronto, Ontario) - reader of the English audiobook
Gabriel Tougas (Winnipeg, Manitoba) - reader of the French audiobook
It is widely known that connecting youth to nature will inspire their conservation efforts in the future. The publication of books like The Forces of Nature is a sign that young people are already advocating for the environment and are doing so in very artist and collaborative ways. Chúk, Samantha and their team are great examples of how young Canadians have the power to be real Earth superheroes and inspire the next generation to save the natural world too.
If you would like to further support the project, the authors will be hosting two bilingual launch events: one in Edmonton, Alberta on May 20 , and the other in Montréal, Québec on June 13. More information can be found on The Poison And The Apple website or social media.
The Forces of Nature is free to download on:
Electronic book format:
Kobo (English): https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-forces-of-nature-1
Kobo (French): https://www.kobo.com/ca/fr/ebook/les-forces-de-la-nature
Soundcloud (English): https://soundcloud.com/lplp-tpta/sets/the-forces-of-nature-gaias-child
Soundcloud (French): https://soundcloud.com/lplp-tpta/sets/les-forces-de-la-nature-lenfant-de-gaia
Electronic Book on Kindle (for a small price):
For more information about The Forces of Nature and any of the other projects The Poison and The Apple are working on check out their website and social:
About the author
Claudia was born and raised on the West Coast of British Columbia and has been an outdoor enthusiast since she can remember. She recently graduated from Simon Fraser University with a BA in Communications and concentrated in environmental communications, social change, and media studies. She believes that the way we convey, share and spread messages is important for empowering and educating people to make adaptable changes to their lifestyles. Her current professional interests are finding sustainable options, utilizing her voice to shed light on current issues, and inspiring others to care for the natural environment. On her time off she can be found adventuring, snowboarding, hiking, traveling, writing, or reading.