Author Archives: Bertrand Blancheton
Author Archives: Bertrand Blancheton
To celebrate WORLD EARTH DAY (22 April 2020) we are paying tribute to Greta Thunberg, who’s voice, heart and courage are exemplary to us all.
These rhymes are dedicated to her, and to all the children and adults who are committed to saving our planet and making the world a better place.
You've heard Greta's message on climate, I'm sure:
our planet has problems we cannot ignore.
Can you save the planet if you’re just a kid?
I’d say: “Yes, indeed! It’s high time we all did!”
At school we learn all about our ABCs
so why don’t we also learn our SDGs?
The same way we need every letter to spell,
we need SDGs for the world to do well.
Twenty-six letters to write every line:
they’re easy to learn when you read them in rhyme.
So just like the alphabet, let’s learn by heart
our 17 SDGs – come on, let’s start!
All the world’s Nations United as one,
aiming to finally get the job done:
defining SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS,
rethinking our actions and everyone’s roles.
So here is rhyme that is easy and fun,
so everyone knows what we need to get done.
You can do your part, now that you know
our planet needs all of us. Ready? Let’s go!
No one ever should be poor
nor be hungry ever more,
nor be ill without good care:
so life is better everywhere!
Children need to go to school.
Equal treatment is the rule.
Everywhere you go you’d see
clean water and clean energy.
With decent jobs life’s more fun,
so growth is good for everyone.
Infrastructure is the key
to lower inequality.
We must build sustainably
our cities and communities.
Choosing wisely when we buy,
means our planet will not die.
Save the oceans and the seas,
the animals and all the trees.
For the world to live in peace,
let’s all be good partners, please.
SDG 1: no poverty
SDG 2: zero hunger
SDG 3: good health and well-being
SDG 4: quality education
SDG 5: gender equality
SDG 6: clean water and sanitation
SDG 7: affordable and clean energy
SDG 8: decent work and economic growth
SDG 9: industry, innovation, infrastructure
SDG 10: reduced inequality
SDG 11: sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12: responsible consumption and production
SDG 13: climate action
SDG 14: life below water
SDG 15: life on land
SDG 16: peace and justice and strong institutions
SDG 17: partnerships to achieve the Goals
Copyright 2019, Mara Catherine Harvey
The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
May every child grow up knowing about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and learning that they, too, can START DOING GOOD at a very young age.
Book 4, A SMART CHOICE TO MAKE will be all about SDG 12, and how our choices can make a difference to this world, every day.
A Smart way to Start 2019 Advent calendar:
One Christmas night, not long ago,
I woke up thinking: ho-ho-ho!
I tiptoed quietly in the dark.
No single light shone, not a spark.
It wasn’t even morning yet.
I went outside, my socks got wet.
The snow lay pristine all around
and covered every inch of ground.
The sky was black, the birds were still,
I tiptoed past the windowsill.
I shivered in the winter air,
the frost was stiffening my hair!
I tried to look up at the roof,
to see if there was any proof
of reindeer prints or sleigh ride marks...
I couldn’t see, it was so dark!
I ran back in, with frozen toes,
and suddenly felt all aglow!
I really wanted to rejoice
but realized... I’d lost my voice!
I could not shout: “Hip hip hurray!”
Nor cry out loud: “It’s Christmas Day!”
It was quite sad, I could not sing,
I could not say a single thing.
A Silent Night it is indeed.
This is the last thing that I need!
My voice is hoarse, I cannot call,
no sound, no word, no noise at all.
Just yesterday my voice was here.
Why did it have to disappear?
It can’t be something that I ate!
So maybe I stayed up too late?
Last night I watched The Santa Clause,
my favourite film and that’s because
it makes me smile and laugh out loud,
I feel as if I’m on a cloud!
What would you do if you had found
Santa’s suit lying on the ground?
I’d wear the suit, step in the sleigh,
And wish that I’d be whisked away!
I’d fly across the sky and cheer!
(And hope I just won’t grow a beard!)
I really wish that i could be
a little helper too, you see.
My very biggest dream of all
is to work up at the North Pole!
As chief of staff for all the elves,
and check the toys upon the shelves:
making sure that every toy
will go to the right girl or boy.
Wrapping each and every game,
all neatly labeled with a name.
We wouldn’t have a single muddle,
so every bear will get a cuddle!
A child who says: “I love you so!
Why Santa Claus, how did you know
that this is just the bear I need?
Exactly this one! Yes, indeed!”
There’d be no Naughty list this year,
so children needn’t ever fear!
We’d fill the sleigh at the North Pole,
without a single lump of coal.
The children on the list are Nice,
there’d be no need to check it twice.
Each stocking would contain a toy
so every child would smile with joy!
I then watched ELF and sang along…
that must be why my voice is gone!
I sang each single tune out loud
I felt so happy and so proud!
Each chorus line, each jingling bell,
I know all of the songs so well!
I sang out loud for all to hear,
spreading lots of Christmas cheer!
So now I cannot even speak.
Nor sing, nor shout, nor even squeak!
This very simply will not do!
It’s Christmas Day, there’s lots to do!
Enjoy the countdown to Christmas with our Advent Calendar and Marty’s
Christmas Story on our Instagram account.
Mara Catherine Harvey
Christmas is approaching fast and it is the most wonderful time of the year! Maybe your children will be lucky enough to receive a gift of money from relatives and friends. So this is a perfect opportunity to put into practice the learnings from books 2 - A SMART WAY TO SAVE - and from book 3 - A SMART WAY TO SPEND.
When the excitement of Christmas Day is over, have children appreciate the gift they have received by explaining to them the value of this gift:
How many a hours of chores (which chores and at what price per hour? ) would they have had to do, to earn the amount gifted to them? This is a great way to practice mental math (super important skill for future financial confidence!) and engage in a values-based discussion. Appreciating that other people had to work hard for the money gifted is an important part of the learning journey.
How much of this amount will be saved and how much will be spent to fulfill a Christmas wish? Remind your child not to take all their money with them when they go shopping, so they don’t fall into the trap of spending it all in one go! Setting some aside is a wise way to start planning.
What will you chose to spend your money on? Have you made a list ... and checked it twice? Even Santa checks his list twice! The smarter the planning, the less likely any pennies will be wasted on something of poor quality or that will be played with once and then neglected.
What about donating some for a good cause? This is a great opportunity to think of people less fortunate and teach children that sharing is caring. And choose wisely which organizations you donate to. A great starting point can be to introduce your child to the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): pick a cause that is close to your heart!
Does “Sustainable Development Goal” sound too complex for your young child?
No worries - we made it kiddy friendly with our “Start Doing Good” poem! It teaches children the SDGs in a simple way - and it’s as easy to memorize as the alphabet!
Enjoy doing good this Christmas!
Each character is not only superbly brought to life by the magical paintbrush strokes of Marijo Ilustrajo - they also have unique stories and fun facts to share with you. They are all named after famous people so come on us on a journey to discover all the sources of inspiration behind the SMART WAY TO START series!
How lovely to see you!
It’s great that you’re here!
I’ll tell you about me,
and all I hold dear.
My first name is Marty,
my surname is Banks
and all my friends
Miss Smarty Pants!
I really don’t mind though,
it’s cool to be smart,
That’s why my book's called
“A Smart Way to Start”.
I’m soon 9 years old and I do love to read:
each book is quite like an adventure, indeed.
When I’m not reading, I go out and play
with all sorts of animals, day after day.
My dream is to study to be a great vet
so I can take care of anyone’s pet!
I’d have my own practice and be CEO,
I’d hire lots of people
and make my firm grow.
My dad sometimes says
I should run my own farm,
and rescue lost pets,
so they come to no harm.
My friends think a start-up
like “rent your own pet”
would be a great business,
but I’m not sure yet…
My mum thinks I should
make my wishes come true,
she says there is nothing that I cannot do,
If I am prepared to work hard every day,
do well at school and do chores to get paid.
That’s what I love least:
doing my chores.
Some of them really do
make me feel bored.
But chores must be done,
so I might as well smile,
do them well, do them fast,
then play for a while.
And for my big dreams,
I know what I need:
some money to start,
and a smart plan indeed!
I’ll share what I’ve learnt
now my journey’s begun.
This is my story.
I hope you’ll have fun!
Did you know that if you search
the internet, you’ll find lots of
famous men called Marty, but
not a single woman! I think it’s
time to change that! One day,
I hope I will be the first world
famous Marty for having done
great things to support equality,
financial literacy and nature
and munchkin cats.
What a difference ayear makes!
A SMART WAY TO START is celebrating its first anniversary and YOU are invited!
And what a better way to celebrate than with the launch of book 4!!
A SMART CHOICE TO MAKE is all about sustainability and teaching children that their money choices matter and impact our planet!
Wait until you see the illustrations of the forest animals and ocean friends!
We hope you’ll love them as much as we do!
After the very positive feedback we received on A SMART WAY TO START / TO SAVE / TO SPEND (and its secret chapter on digital money) we sincerely hope you will enjoy the next part of the story.
All four books will be available for sale as set at the book launch party so this is your opportunity to get your special edition!
Mariajo and I will be happy to sign them for you!
So if you are searching for Birthday or Christmas gifts for other children, search no further: gift them financial confidence!
We are delighted to to invite you to our book launch party the 24th of October, from 6pm to 9pm at
BIRDHAUS, Brandschenkestrasse 150,
Please do SHARE the good news with all of your friends who might like to bring financial confidence to children far and wide.
We appreciate all your help to spread the word!
And a very big thank you for all the encouragement to date.
We are thrilled to have so many enthusiastic readers and supporters, so please do keep on sending us feedback or photos of kids enjoying the books: they bring us so much joy indeed!