Tuesday Writing Tips – Eco Warriors to the rescue

Today I’m thrilled to be part of a blog tour to celebrate the release of my good writerly friend Tania McCartney’s latest book, Eco Warriors to the rescue.

Tania is passionate about literacy, and loves to speak on reading, books and writing. Her latest books include Eco Warriors to the Rescue! (National Library Publishing), Riley and the Jumpy Kangaroo: A journey around Canberra (Ford Street), Caroline Chisholm: The Emigrant’s Friend (New Frontier) and An Aussie Year: Twelve months in the life of Australian Kids (EK Publishing).

Tania puts so much heart and soul into everything she does, and you’ll see from this wonderful book she has created.

eco warriors cover

Eco Warriors to the Rescue!
(National Library Publishing, Aug 2013, $17.99, firm cover, 9780642277800)

Join Banjo, Matilda and Ned on a magical adventure into the Australian native landscape via a series of historic, beautifully-rendered botanical paintings.

Entering the very pages of their favourite book, the children interact with all manner of Australian flora including Kangaroo Paw, Wattle and Eucalypt. Along the way, these intrepid warriors seek ‘tips’ to ensure the survival of our native landscape for generations to come.

Can these eco-warriors help save our native flora from extinction?

Today, Tania is generously sharing her tips on how she created Eco Warriors to the rescue – and I’m doing a review, so stay tuned.

Tania McCartney photoTania’s Five Multi-Media Writing Tips

“I have a real thing for multi-media books—an obsession with photography and interactive book components probably explains why—but kids are also drawn to them, too. This is probably because of the entrancing, multi-dimensional way the book’s pages appear, but perhaps it’s also because so much thought and energy goes into producing a book that features several media components.”

Here are my tips on writing multi-media picture books.

  1. Think about the multimedia format you want to use. It could be completely visual—photography, collaging, graphics, hand-drawn typography. Or it could be three-dimensional—flaps, holes, pop-ups, sound. When considering the multitude of media formats, hold your story and book-purpose firmly in mind so that these formats complement and enhance the story, rather than confuddle or addle it.
  2. Keep in mind the cost of production of multi-media books. If you are a dab hand at graphics, paper-crafting or photography, costs will be minimal (other than your time and equipment) but calling on the skills of others can become costly. Also consider the cost of manufacturing for books that feature unusual components or non-standard page sizes.
  3. Remember you can extend multi-media interactivity online, with links to webpages featuring more comprehensive content. You don’t have to cram everything and anything into a book, thereby overloading it with ‘too much’. Not only is it costly, it can take away from the narrative or message.
  4. Play to your strengths. Implement multi-media elements you have experience in—create elements you understand and can produce well. Sub-standard elements could potentially ruin your work.
  5. Don’t be afraid to try something out-of-the-box or unusual. So long as it’s doable (and you can do it well), let your imagination run wild!


Eco Warriors to the rescue is a riot of colour and visual interest.

It features Banjo, Ned and Matilda, a group of ordinary kids interested in protecting the environment in which they live and play.

I love the way Tania has combined environmental facts with normal everyday activities that kids can relate to, giving readers a clear understanding of how their actions will impact on the environment.

n - CopyTania introduces the reader to some of Australia’s most beautiful and unique plants and their habitats.

The kids, Banjo, Ned and Matilda are diverse and endearing, and I enjoyed watching the action unfold through their eyes.

The author, Tania Mcartney was able to combine her love of writing, photography and design in this book.

She came up with the layout/design concept for, researched and photographed Eco Warriors to the rescue, and clearly this book is very dear to her heart.

Eco Warriors to the rescue is a great book for classroom discussion about the environment – and also for the family library.

As well as the environmental issues tackled, the book contains information about all the plants featured, and the botanical artwork is spectacular.

Combining modern photography and typesetting with historical artworks from the archives of the National Library, Eco Warriors to the Rescue! makes the Library’s beautiful collection of botanical art accessible to the very young. The book also includes interesting facts about Australian flora, as well as floral emblems and birth months, and further ideas on how to keep Australian green.

Eco Warriors to the rescue is suitable for Primary School aged readers.


You can catch Tania, Banjo, Ned and Matilda on tour at these great blogs:

Sunday 1 September

Sneak Peek
Tania McCartney’s Blog

Boomerang Books Blog

Pass It On

Mixed Media Illustrations for Picture Books
Angela Sunde
Under the Apple Tree

Monday 2 September

Book Review
Book Giveaway
Kids Book Review

Eco Tips for Little Readers
Sheryl Gwyther’s Blog

Bringing Up Eco Warriors
The Book Chook

Books for Little Hands

Literature Supporting Sustainability
Children’s Books Daily

Author Interview
Alison Reynolds

Tuesday 3 September

My Little Bookcase

5 Multi-Media Writing Tips

Writing for the National Library of Australia

Elaine Ouston Blog

Soup Blog