Living Landscapes is the thirteenth collection of children's writing and art published as part of Special Forever: An Environmental Communications Project, a partnership between the Murray-Darling Basin Commission and Primary English Teaching Association.
These young authors and artists are growing up in the many environments that make up the Murray-Darling Basin. From southern Queensland to the Murray's mouth and all across New South Wales and Victoria, their communities are united and given their unique character by the vast river system.
Rivers and creeks do not always flow smoothly. Sometimes they dry into a chain of muddy ponds, or disappear completely; sometimes floods come, and cause a different kind of devastation from droughts. In the same way, times of prosperity and hardship follow each other unpredictably across towns, farms and families. Often there is not a lot that children can do to tackle the forces that control their lives.
But children can think and watch, and respond to what goes on around them. They can appreciate the intricacy of a passing insect, or the brightness of a bird on a branch; they can enjoy a swing-rope that drops them into a swimming hole; they can play sport, paint murals, ride horses and tractors and quad bikes, scramble up hills and explore ferny forests, perform in concerts and work alongside the grown-ups in keeping the landscape alive.
These poems, stories and pictures record them doing these things and many more. Produced by perhaps the liveliest creatures in the Basin, they give us a panoramic view of its many living landscapes. (Source: back cover)