A Kid’s Guide to Plants of the Pacific Northwest by Philippa Joly: A Finalist for the 2023 SWCC Book Awards!


Philippa Joly has been declared a finalist for the Child and Youth category of the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada 2023 Book Awards for kid’s nonfiction book, A Kids Guide to Plants of the Pacific Northwest. The SWCC has been recognizing and honouring outstanding contributions to science writing for over 20 years. The winners will be announced on the SWCC website during Science Literacy Week in September 2024. Harbour Publishing’s Amanda Swinimer was also recognized on the longlist for her book, The Science and Superpowers of Seaweed: A Guide for Kids.

A Kids Guide to Plants of the Pacific Northwest is a middle-grade-friendly introduction to Pacific Northwest flora, with outdoor activities, games and quizzes that make learning about nature fun. With the increasing intrusion of technology into daily life, and the challenges of climate chaos, it has never been more essential for parents and educators to encourage kids to engage with the natural environment. The book contains plants from the forest to urban areas where parks, empty lots and backyards can offer the opportunity to learn from and connect to nature, increasing children’s self-confidence, independence, attention span and physical well-being, while fostering care for the environment. The book was awarded the Silver Medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards (2023), and longlisted for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books (2024). 

Philippa Joly is a clinical and community herbalist, paramedic and outdoor educator. She runs an outdoor school for kids and leads workshops on herbal medicine, plant identification, ethical wildcrafting, herbal first aid, local healing plants and anticolonial approaches to wellness. She lives on Denman Island, BC with her plant-savvy daughter, Breah and their grey cat.