Duffy's Lucky Escape Children's Book - Wild Tribe Heroes

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I am so excited to now be stocking these amazing children's books!  Duffy’s Lucky Escape will transport you to a tropical paradise where Duffy the Sea Turtle lives amongst beautiful coral reefs and colourful fish only for Duffy to learn that not all that floats is food. As time is running out Duffy has a lucky escape when kind people step in to save the day. A positive, inspiring, beautifully illustrated true story about the problem of ocean plastics with a happy ending. Loved by children, parents and teachers around the world.

Duffy’s Lucky Escape is based on true events and it is this powerful message which invites children and adults alike to question their environment and the plastic pollution within it. With suggestions for the future and links to activities which reinforce the story, Duffy’s Lucky Escape is a book which will inspire young readers to make changes to the world around them.



  • Based on a true story
  • Teaches children the problems of plastic in our oceans
  • Beautiful illustrations
  • Signed by the author
  • Printed sustainably in the UK on FSC paper
  • Wild Tribe Heroes have received personal letters of congratulations from Sir David Attenborough and Prince Charles.
  • Books have also been featured on the BBC, in The Guardian, Mail on Sunday and Huffington Post.

Duffy’s True Story

Sadly what happened to Duffy is happening to turtles all around the world due to the increasing amounts of plastic in our oceans. Duffy was suffering from something called Floater’s Syndrome where the plastics she had eaten were stopping her from diving down under the water to eat – a bit like how armbands hold you at the surface of the water.  She was stuck on the surface and was starving to death. Luckily turtles who are on the surface are more likely to be spotted by people out on boats and so are more likely to be rescued. Some towns have so many sick and injured turtles that they have built a hospital especially for turtles. One turtle hospital is called Reef HQ in Townsville, Australia and they rescue and look after lots of sick turtles every year.

The first thing they do is to build up the turtles strength before they can find out what is wrong with it. They keep each turtle separate in its own blue tank with a hosepipe providing constant clean water running over the top of the turtle. Here the turtles have to rest and are kept quiet and relaxed ready for their x-ray. The x-ray allows the vets to see if there is anything obviously wrong with the turtle. In lots of cases they see plastic caught in the turtle’s throat, stomach or intestines causing the blockage and making them feel very poorly. If the turtle is well enough the vets can operate and remove the plastic. The turtle then needs a long time to recover and build up their strength again. First they are put back in the blue tanks and eventually they will be strong enough to go into the main aquarium with the other sea creatures. Again they might be here for several months before they can be released back into their natural habitats. The whole process from the initial rescue to the release can take up to a year.

The books are printed sustainably in the UK on FSC paper.

About the Author:

Ellie Jackson is a mother of four young children who has written a series of books to help educate children about the impact of plastics on ocean ecosystems.

Ellie lives by the sea in Looe, Cornwall, and wrote her first book after living on Magnetic Island in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, during which time, she and her young family saw a turtle called Duffy being released back into the ocean after a year of treatment for ingesting plastic. “My children and I were transfixed by the sight of this beautiful creature being set free, and subsequently visited a turtle hospital on the mainland to find out more. Once my children had made the link between plastics and turtles they were inspired to pick up litter from beaches so that they could help protect turtles and other sea life.”

In this way, Ellie, an environmental scientist who taught geography for six years, conceived her idea to use children’s books as a way of educating young people about the threat to sea life of our dependence on plastic.

About the Illustrators:

Liz Oldmeadow

Liz Oldmeadow illustrated Duffy’s Lucky Escape and is a multi award winning illustrator and photographer from Port Stephens, a coastal town in NSW, Australia. Liz has always felt a deep connection to the environment and completed a Bachelor of Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle in 2007. Liz has been working as an illustrator and photographer for more than 10 years, drawing inspiration from Australian wildlife and landscapes.

Laura Callwood

Laura Callwood is a self taught artist and mother of two boys living in Cornwall and she has had a passion for art from a very young age, enjoying all mediums and styles of painting and drawing. Laura began working professionally in portraiture after the birth of her eldest son 8 years ago but has been working in illustration in more recent years. Laura finds great inspiration in nature, from the wild and windy moors to the beautiful coastal landscapes near her home. Illustration enables Laura to express herself whilst conveying vital messages about the importance of looking after our environment. With illustration this can be done in a gentle and thoughtful way that is easy for children to understand.

Whilst living in Australia, Liz and Ellie became friends at a mother’s group when their sons were babies. A chance discussion over coffee led them to combine their talents and after much hard work and juggling of children, Duffy’s message was ready to be shared.

How they all got together:

Ellie moved back to the UK in 2017 and Liz was no longer able to work on the books due to her growing family. Ellie posted a message on a local facebook group asking for illustrators with an identical style to Liz. This style was important to Ellie as her great great grandfather was a famous naturalist in the early 1900’s, writing and illustrating books about birds, butterflies and exotic animals in incredible scientific detail. Growing up surrounded by his artwork and books, Ellie knew that she wanted a very true to life style in her books.

Laura Callwood sent over her initial sketches of a puffin and Ellie knew Laura could continue in the beautiful style of the first book.  It was important to Ellie that Laura was also a mum of young children as well as living locally in Cornwall and over the past year we have worked on a great collaborative style where Laura has transformed Ellie’s scribbles and sketches into stunning artwork and brought the new books to life.

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