by webmaster, 8th February 2023
In an increasingly divided world, few would doubt the times need a-changing. But can poetry help?
In 2021, timed to coincide with Glasgow’s hosting of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), Welsh publisher Graffeg released a collection of six poems inspired by the growing threat of climate change.
Written by prolific author and poet Nicola Davies (pictured), the book has now been selected by an organisation aiming to inspire empathy, literacy and social activism in children as a means of addressing today’s fractured society.
This is How the Change Begins joins 34 other primary titles in the 60-book Empathy Collections list just announced by Empathy Lab. The books, suitable for 4-16 year olds, were each chosen to empower an empathy-educated generation.
Many will help readers understand the lives of those experiencing tough situations, such as the homeless or refugees, while others will aid children to build an understanding of emotions and inspire positive action on issues such as climate change and animal welfare.
“Young people are growing up in a society with a major empathy deficit,” say Empathy Lab. “Hate crimes are at their highest level since records began and there are increasing concerns about the negative effects of social media.
“We’re the first organisation to build children’s empathy, literacy and social activism through a systematic use of high-quality literature.”
Given there’s now scientific evidence to show that reading has the power to build real-life empathy skills, giving the adults of tomorrow the tools to achieve such an outcome today is vital for the emergence of more enlightened times.
“We believe that empathy is a beacon of hope in a divided world,” Empathy Lab add.
One of the original presenters of BBC’s The Really Wild Show, Nicola Davies has more recently made her name as a children’s author, having now penned more than 80 books including picture books, non-fiction, fiction and poetry. Also writing for adults, she has covered many subjects including environmental science, children’s rights, disability, grief and refugees.
This is How the Change Begins is published by Graffeg and is available to publish online at graffeg.com priced £12.99
For more details about Empathy Lab, visit www.empathylab.uk