As part of another university assignment, I had the challenge of writing and illustrating a children’s book. It took time, and it wasn’t as easy as you may think. But I did have a lot of fun with it. The story was based on climate and habitat changes, told through the characters Kiri the Kiwi and her friends.
I have been painting some of the watercolour illustrations for an art exhibition, so I was able to use some of these to save time. New Zealand’s native birds show climate and land use changes in a variety of habitats. The book is still a work in progress, especially with the rhyme and rhythm of the words!
The story of Room to Read is special, it’s a non-profit organisation founded by John Wood in the hope of promoting literacy education in developing countries. The success is incredible; with thousands of children’s books published and hundreds of libraries and schools built in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tanzania and Zambia to name a few. Wood’s biography, Creating Room to Read, is an inspiration to benefit global literacy. I’m keen to take up the challenge of teaching English to the Syrian refugees who are moving to Dunedin soon.
Educational publishing is such a big field – one of the most prosperous areas in publishing at the moment. From study guides and textbooks to technological advancements in virtual and augmented reality. It really is growing, offering so much scope for teaching and learning in a myriad of ways. I’m keen to learn more about the use of technology in education, whether in schools, museums and even online. My next project will be looking at writing an e-book and perhaps even producing an App. Despite the digital revolution, I still respect the book that you can hold in your hands. I’m sure a lot of kids still do.