For a generation of children who are already passionate about sustainability…
“As a child I had just a handful of hand-me-down toys … Never did it cross my mind that we would discard these treasured toys for new ones. On having my own children I discovered how ‘disposable’ and short lived 21st century toys are and wanted to capture the nostalgia associated with the quality toys of past times.”
– Author Stef Gemmill, on her motivation for writing Toy Mountain
Reducing our Mountains
Toy Mountain outlines the plastic waste crisis in a way that is simple for children to understand and shows them how they can help. It empowers children to take sustainability into their own hands, and their parents, through their toy purchases. This is a vitally important message in a world where we generate 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic each year, 79% of which goes into landfill.
All while having fun!
Tough topics don’t always need to be depicted seriously to make an impact.
“I have created colourful and vibrant illustrations that bring atmosphere, joy and adventure to the story. I particularly wanted to depict the wonders of childhood and create a window into the world as a child sees it: bright colours and an innocent sense of fun.”
– Illustrator Katherine Hall
Stef Gemmill is a children’s author and former technical writer, teacher, and freelance music journalist. Her writing career kicked off with reviewing rock gigs. After becoming a mum, she swapped the mosh pit for toys and tantrums and is the author of children’s books telling stories of friendship, hope and adventure. She lives on the Surf Coast of Victoria, Australia with her surf mad family and skateboarding cat, Luna.
Stef won the children’s category of the International Rubery Book Awards with her picture book A Home For Luna in 2020. Toy Mountain is her third book.
Katharine Hall is an illustrator based in Wellington. From her studio in Aotearoa, she tells stories that translate across language – specialising in ink work and digital design. In addition to picture book illustration, she has also worked on various projects for individuals, start-ups and businesses both big and small.
Her lively, happy-go-lucky, and detailed style is inspired by a few simple loves; intricate details, fluffy cats, funny stories, bright colours, and nature. The quirky stuff in between is always an option too!
Meet the whole EK family!
Momoe PictureBooks (via Instragram)
This story can help us consider big themes about consumerism and sustainability but it also reminds us of the loveliness of a few familiar items that we have had handed down and shared in the family home.”
School Days Magazine
“A sweet story, with fun detailed illustrations that shows that getting all the latest and greatest isn’t always the greatest!. It is a good way to teach young children about consumerism” Click here to read in full
The Space magazine
This story is about seeing the value in what you already have and introduces the idea that we can think critically about overconsumption.
A good story for encouraging conversations around sustainability or supporting that theme within your curriculum.
The Bottom Shelf – Edu Blog
“this is an important story to share about appreciating what we have and taking care of it because shiny and new isn’t always the best choice. There is also a broader message about the amount of plastic that is produced each year, the 79% of that which ends up in the oceans or in landfill. and thus, being aware of and responsible for the amount of waste we create as individuals.”
Click here to read
ABC Far North (Cairns)
Breakfast host Kier Shorey interviewed Stef about Toy Mountain, the plastic waste created by the toy industry and her nostalgia for toys that last longer than the packing” Click here to listen
In The Good Books
“Teaches children about sustainability and the importance of protecting the environment and using only what we need” Click here to read
One More Page Podcast
“Super topical and timely in the lead up to Christmas gift giving season, because it is all about consumerism and mindful buying. While this one is a book with a message its written in style with major kid appeal with lots of onomatopoeia and playful language. It’s a really clever tale about valuing what you already have” Click here to listen
Surf Coast Times
“Toy Mountain, which has themes of sustainability and caring for the things you love, was published just in time to celebrate National Recycling Week.”
“A wonderful story of appreciating what we have and the value of simple toys that last.” Click here to read
Geelong Coast Kids
“The book, beautifully illustrated by Katharine Hall, highlights the huge amounts of plastic waste generated by consumer culture.” Click here to read
Blue Wolf Reviews
“creates a solid base for a discussion about sharing.” Click here to read
Reading With a Chance of Tacos
“empowering kids to care for the environment!” Click here to listen.
Kids’ Book Review
“Explores consumerism, greed and learning to be happy with what you have. It’s a great lesson for kids, who often want more, more, more, or want what everyone else has.” Click here to read
A worthy book that will encourage readers to think about the things they buy, and look for joy and meaning in living with less.
Literacy, Families and Learning
“This is a funny book with a serious but subtle message about ‘consumer culture’ and the value of looking after our belongings. This is a message we all need to hear in a world where we generate 6.3 billions tonnes of plastic each year” Click here to read in full
Just So Stories
“a timely reminder about promoting sustainability, moderating our consumerism and caring for both our belongings and our earth”
Click here to read in full