Skip to main content
Palgrave Macmillan

Storying Plants in Australian Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Roots and Winged Seeds

  • Book
  • © 2023


  • Brings together postcolonial and Indigenous epistemologies
  • Includes transnational perspectives
  • Contributes to the growing area of plant studies and literature

Part of the book series: Critical Approaches to Children's Literature (CRACL)

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this book

eBook USD 119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book USD 159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access

Licence this eBook for your library

Institutional subscriptions

Table of contents (13 chapters)

  1. Gumnuts and Pohutukawa Babies


About this book

Storying Plants in Australian Children’s and Young Adult Literature: Roots and Winged Seeds explores cultural and historical aspects of the representation of plants in Australian children’s and young adult literature, encompassing colonial, postcolonial, and Indigenous perspectives. While plants tend to be backgrounded as of less narrative interest than animals and humans, this book, in conversation with the field of critical plant studies, approaches them as living beings worthy of attention. Australia is home to over 20,000 species of native plants – from pungent Eucalypts to twisting mangroves, from tiny orchids to spiky, silvery spinifex. Indigenous Australians have lived with, relied upon, and cultivated these plants for many thousands of years. When European explorers and colonists first invaded Australia, unfamiliar species of plants captured their imagination. Vulnerable to bushfires, climate change, and introduced species, plants continue to occupy fraught butvital places in Australian ecologies, texts, and cultures. Discussing writers from Ambelin Kwaymullina and Aunty Joy Murphy to May Gibbs and Ethel Turner, and embracing transnational perspectives from Ukraine, Poland, and Aotearoa New Zealand, Storying Plants addresses the stories told about plants but also the stories that plants themselves tell, engaging with the wide-ranging significance of plants in Australian children’s and Young Adult literature.

Editors and Affiliations

  • Østfold University College, Halden, Norway

    Melanie Duckworth

  • University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia

    Annika Herb

About the editors

Melanie Duckworth is an associate professor of English literature at Østfold University College, Norway. Her research interests include Australian literature, contemporary poetry, and ecocriticism, and her research is published in journals including Environmental Humanities, International Research in Children’s Literature, Bookbird, and Australian Literary Studies. Melanie is co-editor of Plants in Children’s and Young Adult Literature (Routledge 2022).   

Annika Herb is a researcher, writer, and Education Development Lead at the University of Newcastle, Australia, living and working on Awabakal land. Her research interests include children’s and Young Adult literature, gender and sexuality, queer literature, colonial, postcolonial, and Indigenous literature, and she has published research in Westerly, M/C Journal, Girlhood Studies, and Children’s Literature in Education.

Bibliographic Information

Publish with us