Whistle-Stop Thistle: An engaging new children’s book that encourages children to get crafty with recycled materials


The United Nations says we have 11 years to limit the most devastating effects of climate change. If we can teach our children to take action and reduce the amount of waste they throw away, then we can help to make the future greener for them.

The book was created by artist Jay Stelling, who has an unusual approach to illustration. Jay has made the entire world of Whistle-Stop Thistle as a physical set, using scrap materials in production to build the houses and props. The characters in the story are actually puppets that have been posed and photographed for each of the scenes.

Jay grew up in the historic North Yorkshire city of Ripon in England. She studied at Leeds Arts University and now lives in Knaresborough.

She is passionate about protecting the beautiful landscapes of North Yorkshire and is teaching children how they can help the world by being more like the Thistle-Folk!

Whistle-Stop Thistle

Whistle-Stop Thistle is a children’s story about a community of little people called Thistle-Folk who live in a miniature town behind a bramble bush. The Thistle-Folk are scavengers, who together with a friendly magpie try to find new uses for the rubbish left behind by lazy humans.


artist Jay Stelling
Artist Jay Stelling

The Thistle-folk try to look after their tiny world by reusing any scrap materials they find. Their whole world was built from consumer packaging, from cardboard buildings to lollipop stick roof tiles. Recycling helps our environment by reducing the amount of garbage in landfills that can take hundreds of years to break down. It also helps to preserve trees by reducing the need for new paper.

This book aims to show children just how easy it is to make art from rubbish that would otherwise be thrown away. Maybe if we were all a bit more curious and crafty with our waste then we could preserve our green landscape.

Whistle-Stop Thistle

Kickstarter Campaign Launch – The book is currently on Kickstarter, where backers can make a monetary pledge to help Jay to reach her final goal to get the book printed and into local bookstores. Backers can receive exciting rewards such as copies of the book, merchandise of the characters, original models from the set or actually appearing in the book as a Thistle-Folk character!

Launch: 24th March 2019 – Ends: 23rd April 2019


Whistle-Stop Thistle

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