A Caerphilly-based author who released a children’s book about the importance of marine life conservation has expressed her delight at Caerphilly town recently being declared a ‘Plastic Free Community’ by marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS)
Gilly John released her book, called The Grimpots, earlier this year.
The story focuses on a family of umbrella octopuses and carries a strong ecological message.
Ms John, who trained as a children’s nurse before turning to children’s poetry, said: “It’s fantastic to hear about the initiative in Caerphilly to reduce single use plastics.
“Raising awareness about plastic pollution is pivotal to a clean and healthy planet. Like the Caerphilly initiative, people need to be taking action now.
“I attended a storytelling event at Newbridge Library recently, the children from Crumlin High Level Primary School knew so much about the sea and plastic pollution, it was fantastic. They give us hope for the future.”
Ms John added: “Grimpoteuthis (umbrella octopuses) are such fantastic creatures, with a web between their tentacles and fins on their heads, although little is known about them because they live in such deep water.
“Children need to learn that the sea is full of living things and we all have a responsibility to keep our oceans clean and plastic free.”
Ms John added: “Despite it being very difficult to succeed as a children’s writer with so many fabulous authors out there, people have been very supportive of The Grimpots, in particular librarians and teachers.
“They understand the importance of children having access to a variety of books. It has also been lovely to hear from children and parents who enjoy reading The Grimpots together.
“I was told about one child who insisted on her mum reading the book to her every day before school.”
Ms John’s interest in the natural world began when she was a child.
Ms John said: “I have always been fascinated by the natural world and the lesser-known inhabitants.
“I must have been around seven-years-old when I read an article highlighting the plight of fur seals, killed for their pelts.
“I was so outraged that I organised a sponsored walk around the school yard to raise money for their protection.”
The book costs £4.99 and can be bought online from www.ylolfa.com/products//the-grimpots.