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Billibonk Book Resources

Teaching Systems Thinking to Kids

The Billibonk and Frankl book series is a collection of captivating jungle-based fables that showcase principles of systems thinking through the experiences of various animal characters. The stories are engaging and relatable to both children and adults, as they demonstrate how different species in the jungle learn to collaborate and solve problems together. The Billibonk and Frankl stories aim to help children see systems and interdependencies in the world around them.

The Billibonk and Frankl series is a great resource for learning about systems thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration in a fun and relatable way.

Billibonk and the Thorn Patch Front Cover

Billibonk and the Thorn Patch

Beer Game Facilitation

Billibonk and the Bugs

 

The Floods of Knith Cover: Billibonk and Frankl Story

The Floods of Knith

The Dark Jungle Billibonk Series Front Cover

The Dark Jungle

Billibonk and the Thorn Patch

Billibonk and the Thorn Patch is a compelling story that is bound to appeal to readers of all ages. In this engaging fable, Billibonk, the elephant, and his friends discover the interdependent nature of life in the jungle of Knith. Together, the elephants, mice, and monkeys hone their problem-solving skills and–after much adventure (and a few misunderstandings!)–learn the value of mutual respect and thinking systemically. No fable is complete without a moral…and this fable has many. Key lessons featured in the story include:

  • Understanding mutual interdependencies
  • Focusing on the long-term view
  • Getting to the root of the problem
  • Recognizing our own role in difficult situations 

Join Billibonk and the rest of the Knith gang in their journey of discovery–but beware what may be lurking in the thorn patch!

This is the first book in the Billibonk and Frankl series.

Billibonk and the Thorn Patch Front Cover

These posters explain key systems thinking concepts from the book Billibonk and the Thorn Patch. These can be downloaded and printed for use in a classroom or with your children.

VIDEOS

These videos are designed to be a useful resource for parents and teachers seeking to draw lessons and systems thinking concepts from Billibonk and the Thorn Patch. Narrated by Philip Ramsey, the book’s author, the videos explain the main lessons and insights throughout the book.

Summary of Key Concepts

1. Billibonk and the Thorn Patch Short Video

Explanation of Main Systems Thinking Concepts

1. Billibonk and the Thorn Patch Long Video

Billibonk and the Bugs

Billibonk and the Bugs is a captivating story about animals in a jungle that is bound to engage readers of all ages. Billibonk, the elephant, and Frankl, his curious mouse mentor, team up and follow the looping trail of clues that lead to the heart of the mystery in the delightfully instructive fable. Key lessons featured in the story include:

  • Understanding mutual interdependencies –
  • Focusing on the long-term view
  • Getting to the root of the problem
  • Recognizing our own role in difficult situations. 

Join Billibonk and the rest of the Knith gang in their journey of discovery–but beware of the bugs!

This is the second book in the Billibonk and Frankl series.

For a long, long time, children and adults alike have learned nature’s principles through stories. Phil Ramsey plies the ancient storyteller’s craft beautifully, showing us that systems thinking really is for all ages.

Peter Senge, Author of The Fifth Discipline

These posters explain key systems thinking concepts from the book Billibonk and the Bugs. These can be downloaded and printed for use in a classroom or with your children.

VIDEOS

These videos are designed to be a useful resource for parents and teachers seeking to draw lessons and systems thinking concepts from Billibonk and the Bugs. Narrated by Philip Ramsey, the book’s author, the videos explain the main lessons and insights throughout the book.

Summary of Key Concepts

2. Billibonk and the Bugs Short Video

Explanation of Main Systems Thinking Concepts

2. Billibonk and the Bugs Long Video

The Floods of Knith

A jungle-based fable with animal characters, incorporating principles of systems thinking. Billibonk, the elephant, and Frankl, the mouse, try to find out why the river is flooding. They discover that conflict between herons and hippos is upsetting the way a lagoon works. Billibonk and Frankl have to find a way to resolve the conflict and have herons and hippos work together.

This is the third book in the Billibonk and Frankl series.

These posters explain key systems thinking concepts throughout the book. They can be printed for use in classrooms or with your children. 

An engaging story for children, on many fronts – tension and intrigue, value of friendships, communication, beliefs, personalities, appreciative inquiry, perspective taking, environmental issues, and of course systems thinking. The layers of deeper meaning were tremendous. I loved the thought-provoking summaries and the profound ‘lessons’ about appreciative ways of interacting with others. There were ‘messages’ that children could take on, but also multiple deeper messages for adults on personal and work-related relationships.
I’m thinking of ways to bring it into my teaching about professional learning and dealing with change…
Thanks again for the fascinating and thought-provoking book.

Jenny Poskitt, Associate Professor Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa – Massey University in New Zealand

The Floods of Knith is the third in a series of four Billibonk story books that were cleverly designed to be wonderful examples of the interconnection of complex systems.  Intended for children, the stories provide an excellent vehicle for a discussion of how feedback produces the problematic behavior that evolves in the story.  Moreover, the analysis of that feedback allows the main characters, Billibonk, the elephant, and his friend Frankl, the mouse, to ultimately uncover strategies to mitigate the problem in the system story.  The stories lend themselves to using CLDs or stock-flow diagrams to understand the problem.  We need more stories like these, written by systems thinkers, to build ST capacity in ourselves and our children.

Diana Fisher, VP of Pre-College Education, System Dynamics Society

VIDEOS

These videos are designed to be a useful resource for parents and teachers seeking to draw lessons and systems thinking concepts from The Floods of Knith. Narrated by Philip Ramsey, the book’s author, the videos explain the main lessons and insights throughout the book.

Summary of Key Concepts

3. The Floods of Knith Short Video - Billibonk and Frankl Story

Explanation of Main Systems Thinking Concepts

3. The Floods of Knith Long Video - Billibonk and Frankl Story

The Dark Jungle

The Dark Jungle is a jungle-based fable with animal characters, incorporating principles of systems thinking. Billibonk, the elephant, works with two mice, Frankl and Tori, to find why the jungle is getting darker. They discover that chimpanzees in the jungle have changed their behaviour. The bad behaviour of young chimps, including bullying, has torn the community apart. Billibonk, Frankl, and Tori have to find a way to help the chimps rebuild their community. 

This is the fourth book in the Billibonk and Frankl series.

The Dark Jungle Billibonk Series Front Cover

These posters explain key systems thinking concepts from the book The Dark Jungle. These can be downloaded and printed for use in a classroom or with your children.

VIDEOS

These videos are designed to be a useful resource for parents and teachers seeking to draw lessons and systems thinking concepts from The Dark Jungle. Narrated by Philip Ramsey, the book’s author, the videos explain the main lessons and insights throughout the book.

Summary of Key Concepts

4. The Dark Jungle Short Video

Explanation of Main Systems Thinking Concepts

4. The Dark Jungle Long Video

About the Author

Dr. Phil Ramsey is a Senior lecturer at Massey University in New Zealand, where he teaches Organizational Learning, Leadership, and Teamwork. He also works as a Director of Incite Learning, a consulting company that mainly works with schools, helping school leaders apply Organizational Learning concepts to solve tough problems.

Philip Ramsey

Teaching & Learning Resources

Our Pre-College Education Special Interest Group (SIG) has a variety of resources that are useful for teachers and parents interested in incorporating systems thinking concepts into the classroom or into their parenting lessons.

  • Webinars
  • Lesson plans
  • Models to use in classes
  • Examples of systems thinking and System Dynamics work in K-12 Education
  • And many more resources!
Pre College Education SIG