The Bushfire Book

Chris Nixon, Polly Marsden

The Bushfire Book
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The Bushfire Book

Chris Nixon, Polly Marsden

An accessible and reassuring picture book that teaches children what they need to know about bushfires so they can understand what’s happening and be smart and prepared, not scared.

Australia is a big country with all sorts of weather. And sometimes extreme weather like bushfires. Bushfires can make a real mess of things. The air fills with smoke. The skies turn red. Ash falls. Precious things burn. But we don’t need to be scared, we just need to know all about bushfires and prepare for them.

This book will help you understand what causes bushfires, introduce you to all the clever people who are keeping an eye on them, and teach you how to be prepared and not scared.

A practical and reassuring book for children to help them understand bushfires and what action they can take to feel less anxious and more prepared as Australia faces longer and more intense bushfire seasons.


The Bushfire Book: How to Be Aware and Prepare is written by Polly Marsden, the creator behind the concept of the upcoming ABC documentary series Big Weather and How to Survive It, which will be hosted by Craig Reucassel and released ahead of this summer’s bushfire season.

As we saw to devastating effect last summer, Australia is increasingly a country of extreme weather, and as we face longer and more intense seasonal change, so too do we face dangers such as smoke, ash and fire. We watched as family and friends saw their precious things burn, and it broke our hearts. This is scary for us all, but also confusing for children who don’t understand a lot about what causes bushfires or what they, as young people, can do.

Marsden’s text and Chris Nixon’s engaging illustrations help children to comprehend where bushfires come from, who the skilled and caring people are who work to keep us safe, and, finally, how they can be prepared themselves.

This is a practical and reassuring guide that also includes helpful hints on how to build your own bushfire plan, with websites and resources you can research for more details. It’s a book for every home and for kids aged 5+.

Claire Atherfold is the manager and the children’s book buyer at Readings State Library.

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