Children are very interested in the things that engineers do yet there are very few engineers in children’s literature and media. Consequently, Andrew created Engibear and his friends Engilina and the Bearbot as “friendly faces” of engineering - a way to introduce engineering to young children and he started writing short stories about them and their engineering adventures. Andrew considers himself to be very lucky because Benjamin Johnston, a Sydney-based Architect and illustrator who is also passionate about the environment, liked the Engibear concept and agreed to illustrate the stories. Andrew and Ben have now produced two Engibear books and a third is underway.
Andrew believes that environmental management and sustainability should be considered as “business as usual” in all aspects of our lives rather than as the add-ons or extras that we often consider them to be. He also thinks that it is important for children to grow up thinking this way from an early age. Therefore, rather than produce a book about environmental engineering, Andrew is working with Ben to produce a series of books that cover a broad range of engineering topics and include examples of good environmental and sustainability practices. Engibear lives and works in the fictitious city of Munnagong which has significant infrastructure and provides an ideal platform for doing this.
Examples in Engibear’s Dream include:
- Engibear’s house which has solar power, wind power, water harvesting, recycling and a rooftop garden with food production.
- Engibear’s electric car.
- Munnagong’s renewable energy sources including a wind farm and a hydroelectric power station as well as its recycling centre.
- Urban planning - Munnagong’s Urban Sustainable Transport System (MUST)
Andrew and Ben are currently working on their third book which will explore the development of trains from early steam engine technology onwards and compare aspects of current and historical models - including environmental factors. They would be very happy to talk to anyone who is interested in their work.
Keep a look out for the new Engibear book late next year, and check out some extracts from the books below.
Find out more and order copies of Engibear books here.