It’s Up to Us: A Children’s Terra Carta for Nature, People and Planet by Christopher Lloyd, foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales with illustrations by 33 illustrators from around the world.

This is a powerful, thought-provoking non-fiction book featuring a story of hope and activism and is “based on the Terra Carta – a road map that was created by HRH The Prince of Wales and the Sustainable Markets Initiative to put Nature, People and Planet at the heart of global value creation”. This book reinforces the idea that we are caretakers of this precious earth and is a call to action to inspire young readers to adopt sustainable practices and environmental responsibility.

The foreword, by HRH The Prince of Wales, talks about how we are all part of Nature and explains the importance of the land, water and air and how imperative it is that they are able to operate in harmony. HRH The Prince of Wales empowers readers to make a difference by working collectively to protect nature and to be part of contributing to a healthy, strong planet for all of the flora and fauna that inhabit it and for future generations.

The contents page lists four parts to this book – nature, people, planet and Terra Carta. There is also a final section that includes the original words of the preface to the Terra Carta (this features two QR codes, one to learn more about the Terra Carta and the other one to see videos about ways to live in harmony with Nature). The profiles of the thirty-three illustrators can also be found here in addition to information about the Prince’s Foundation and a glossary-index.

Part 1 explores nature and all the living things that surround us – plants, animals, microbes and the ecosystems where they live. This part explores life which exists in Earth’s outer layer and the elements that make this up – air, soil and oceans. Part 2 is about the ways in which people have used the Earth’s resources and commodities, the resulting pollution and the consequences this has had on the land, ocean and their ecosystems. Part 3 delves into how the Earth is under threat as a result of people’s decisions and human activity. It discusses in a highly accessible way the role of carbon dioxide, how carbon turns into fossil fuel under the earth and oceans and the adverse effects on the environment of using these fuels. This part of the book also includes predictions if the world keeps heating up. Part 4 is all about what we can do by working together to help restore Nature’s balance. This sets out “a plan of action for the Earth”. Personal actions, sustainable options and consumer choices are explored as well as collaborative efforts and relationships to seek in order to support Nature, such as learning from First Nations peoples who have lived sustainably in Nature for thousands of years. There is also mention of the power of people to apply pressure to our leaders to “Put Nature first” and to make our leaders accountable. The final page empowers readers with a clear message that, “it’s up to us” to come together to be part of the solution.

The fact that thirty-three illustrators from all around the world have contributed to this book adds to the richness. Each gloriously detailed illustration spans a double page spread and enriches the text in its own unique style. The details within the illustrations add further stories for the reader to unpack.

This book would be an invaluable addition to any library collection as it beautifully and accessibly explores Nature in all its beauty and glory, the effects of human impact on the earth and the role everyone can play to help restore Nature’s balance.

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