Porirua’s own fairies
Lorraine Gray says she still believes in fairies.
Her children’s book The Kowhai Fairy, illustrated by fellow Porirua resident Barbara Hefford, was launched at Summerset at Aotea last week. Another celebration followed on Saturday at St Andrew’s Church in Plimmerton, with plenty of fairy costumes, music and facepainting.
Ms Gray, who grew up in New Plymouth, says her grandmother’s garden was a magical place during her childhood and inspired her to pen The Kowhai Fairy.
‘‘ I can remember sitting under a big tree, wanting to catch a fairy in a matchbox. I’m sure they were around in this place, full of trees and flowers.
‘‘I was an early childhood teacher for many years and if you read them a story with some real life to it, you can make their faces light up. I just hope children will enjoy the story, I certainly enjoyed writing it.’’
Ms Gray has had poems and short stories published before, but releasing a children’s book was on her bucket list. An initial run of 100 has been doubled due to demand – and this is before outlets like Paper Plus have begun stocking it.
She hopes it will get a wider release in time, too.
Ms Gray approached local designer Stephanie Drew late last year to put the project together.
The story was written 12 years ago but refining it has proved quite a challenge, she says.
Illustrator Ms Hefford is Ms Drew’s mother so it has been very much a Porirua- based project.
‘‘I had a lot of fun drawing the butterflies and fairies, I haven’t drawn anything like this for many years,’’ Ms Hefford says.
‘‘I had to go away and find out what a kowhai tree and a tamarillo tree look like – there was a lot of variety and challenge in doing this.’’
Ms Gray says she delibrately left the story’s ending open- ended, as she still believes fairies are out there. Email Stephanie@drew.co.nz to purchase a copy for $15.
Dynamic trio: Lorraine Gray, Stephanie Drew and Barbara Hefford, the creative talent behind the Porirua-published children’s book The Kowhai Fairy.