Saturday, 6 February 2016

Catch a glimpse of a Taniwha

Towards the end of last year, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the launch of a new book for children.
Taniwha is a delightful story, written by Mike Johnson and illustrated by Jennifer Rackham, about New Zealand's most intriguing mythical monster.  Intended to be read aloud to youngsters or used as an early reader, it asks the pressing question: Just what does a Taniwha look like anyway?
The launch was part of the Writer's festival on Waiheke Island, where Mike lives, and featured a reading by the author, Q&A with both of them, and a treasure hunt through the library.  Heaps of fun!
Despite being a big kid myself, I restrained myself from entering the search for clues - perhaps pointing the occasional child in the direction of one they might have missed.
Afterward, I joined Mike and Jennifer at Mike's house on Waiheke Island for a delicious platter of food, excellent conversation, and one of the most beautiful bush views I've seen in a long time.  Mike has truly embraced the back to nature atmosphere of Waiheke and it creates an inspirational space for him to write.  He's had many books published both traditionally and now self published.
Jennifer works in Auckland city and takes art commissions, creating beautiful images with a keen understanding of what's needed to tell the story.  She's also writer herself.

 So if you're looking for a fun little book for the kids, with a bit of New Zealand heritage as well, check out Taniwha. I'm sure your kids will enjoy it as much as I did!
You can get a sneak preview of the book here or buy it from Amazon.

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