Did you know that there are more living creatures in a teaspoon of soil than there are humans on planet Earth? And, did you also know that four in every five animals is a nematode? What’s a nematode?! Well, you’ll have to read our book!

In August 2019, we launched the third Small Friends Books title – ‘Nema and the Xenos: A Story of Soil Cycles’ – written in collaboration with nematologist, Prof. Patricia Stock and co-published by Scale Free Network + CSIRO Publishing. Set in the soil, this science-adventure tale is told by a tiny worm (a nematode) on a very big mission…

This was not just any book launch….it was a ‘Festival of Soil’ – a celebration of the hidden worlds beneath our feet, explored through art, science and storytelling. Part of the National Science Week 2019 program, our festival/book launch featured an exhibition of original storybook illustrations, interactive microscopes, collaborative soil-scape drawing, soil pit, live storytelling by author Ailsa Wild and an immersive, soil-inspired performance (the ‘Soil Biome Immersion’) by illustrator/visual ecologist Aviva Reed.

It was hosted by ArtPlay – an incredible space located on the banks of Birrarung in Melbourne. Special thank you to Tanya, Jeany, Phia, Daniel, Reeham, Theresa, Simone and Emily.