It was a special book launch at the Cobourg Market building recently.
On Earth Day, Professor Elwood Pricklethorn, aka Warren Hoselton, launched his book titled, “Professor Elwood Pricklethorn’s activity book: All About Urban Trees”
Hoselton is the Parks Supervisor on Toronto Island where he is loved and respected by many who call Toronto Island home.
Born and raised in Cobourg, Hoselton has never forgotten his “roots” and decided to launch the activity book in his hometown with friends and family, on Earth Day – 2018.
Professor Elwood Pricklethorn was born in 2010 out of Hoselton’s love for trees and his idea to create the character to teach children about all the good things trees do for the world.
“I would go to schools, especially on Toronto Island and talk about the benefits of trees. But then I made a conscious decision to introduce props, flash cards and to energize the students in an animated way.”
Through the use of props and a costume Hoselton has taught students of all ages across Ontario and in the United States about trees.
“The word of the program’s success has spread amongst educators in schools in Canada and the US. Educators are really supportive and enthusiastic about it.”
The primary grades Professor Pricklethorn teaches are grades 1 to grade 5.
“I looked at the natural sciences and environmental curriculum in the elementary schools and dovetailed it with my program. I’ve highlighted the main plant function of photosynthesis that occurs within a tree into a fun and fast paced role playing experience.”
Hoselton then came up the idea of doing a workbook because he wanted to leave something behind with the children to promote further learning about urban trees.
“They say the best lesson is a reinforced lesson.”
Hoselton worked on the project with Julie Hinton Walker (graphic designer) and Jenny Duda, also from Cobourg, (Illustrator) on creating the book.
“It was well over a year we worked on the book. We would bounce ideas off one another to see what worked the best. Some of the drawings are simple principals on trees, how they work, what they do for us, and we added in some tree “factoids.”
Hoselton describes trees as, “the unsung hero in our urban landscape.”
“They are doing all these amazing things and they need very little care.”
But what trees give back is something most people don’t think about during their day to day lives.
“We breathe the air they give out. They pull in dirty air and they convert it into oxygen. But in the meantime they gives homes for animals, stop erosion, give us medicine, food, nuts, food ingredients. All these incredible things.”
Hoselton states, “it’s a scientific fact that having trees around makes us feel better.”
The book is interactive, with all the answers are in the book. With fun facts about trees and every page a colouring page, children will have fun while learning about trees.
The Park Agency Print Shop, in Toronto, produced 14,000 copies and helped make it environmentally friendly.
“It’s everything I wanted it to be.” But Hoselton promises, “we’ll be back, bigger and better.”
And expands on that by stating he is working on another project – an adult colouring book tentatively titled “Pricklethorn’s Knotty” book.
It will still have the colouring and “tree factoids” but more inline for adults.
Donors who helped make Professor Elwood Pricklethorn’s activity book: All About Urban Trees are: Ontario Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, William Meany, Patrick Loubert, Four Seasons Tree Care, Guardian Tree Systems, Debbie Leon Ground Control and the Canadian Tree Fund – Jack Kimmel International Grant Program.
*The books are for sale at Spark Smart Toys For Cool Kids, Cobourg. ($3.00 per copy)