A children's story about the effects of bushfires is the focus of a new book set to be released by the Mountain Cattlemen's Association of Victoria.
The book will be donated to hundreds of primary schools across the state in an attempt to raise awareness about bushfires, and the emotional toll they can take on people, in a child-friendly way.
The association believes more than 1000 books will be offered for donation thanks to a grant from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
"We are really excited about this project," MCAV president Bruce McCormack said.
"It's something we have had in the pipeline for a little while and we can't wait to get it onto the shelves at libraries, schools and kindergartens all across Victoria."
With priority to be given to education providers in towns affected by the Black Summer bushfires, Mr McCormack warned students should be prepared for a realistic look at bushfires and their impact.
To encourage primary schools to get involved with the project the MCAV has launched a competition, inviting students from across Australia to submit title suggestions for the book.
"We have tried to create a story that is educational, but realistic," he said.
"It's about the Mountain Cattlemen, and farmers in general, with their long history with the land, and how that history was impacted by the 19/20 bushfires.
"There are illustrations picturing dead stock and the mental effects felt by older members in the story - but ultimately it is a story of family connection, love and the continuation of life."
Each student from the class with the winning entry will receive a signed copy of the book, along with the opportunity to provide a class photo and spiel about the effects bushfire has had on Victoria
The photo will be included in the final publication.
"We have created learning packs that will be sent to all shires impacted by the 19/20 bushfires - inside there will be information on the book itself, along with topics for discussion, craft activities and how it can be related back to the educational curriculum," Mr McCormack said.
Mr McCormack will also visit the winning school to read the story aloud.
"We are creating online content to compliment the story, to further help students engage," he said.
The book is written by journalist and MCAV office manager, Rhyll McCormack, and illustrated by award-winning artist Timothy Ide of Tom the Outback Mailman fame.
For more information on the book and to access educational resources online, visit mcav.com.au.
To receive an educational learning pack, or submit an entry into the competition, email firstname.lastname@example.org.