Look­ing at our own back yards

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By SAM DUFF

From pray­ing man­tis to black­birds, Pukerua Bay au­thor Gil­lian Can­dler says there is plenty for chil­dren to dis­cover in New Zealand back yards.

Last month Mrs Can­dler re­leased her sec­ond chil­dren’s book, In the Gar­den.

She worked with Karori- based il­lus­tra­tor Ned Bar­raud on the project.

The book was writ­ten for chil­dren to dis­cover the won­ders in their own back yards, she said.

‘‘It is the things that par­ents and kids could be do­ing in the gar­den and at the beach,’’ she said.

‘‘Chil­dren are re­ally cu­ri­ous and this is an op­por­tu­nity to en­cour­age that cu­rios­ity and at the same time get them out­side.

‘‘They’re books I would have loved to have had when my son grew up.’’

In the Gar­den de­tails crea­tures found in a typ­i­cal New Zealand back yard.

That in­cludes the huhu grub, which spend sev­eral years eat­ing rot­ten wood be­fore turn­ing into huhu bee­tles.

Mrs Can­dler said she was was thrilled by the re­sponse to the book, which had been sell­ing well.

It was listed in the Nielsen top 10 best-sell­ing chil­dren’s books and was one of The Lis­tener top 50 chil­dren’s books for 2013.

She said the book came about af­ter she talked to par­ents of young chil­dren.

‘‘We were talk­ing about my last book and they said it would be great to have a book about the gar­den,’’ she said.

Mrs Can­dler wrote last year.

She said she tried to spend time in her own back yard in Pukerua Bay af­ter work­ing in of­fices for years.

‘‘I re­dis­cov­ered na­ture af­ter be­ing shut away for so long. I wanted to learn more about the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment,’’ she said.

The publisher-turned-au­thor said she en­joyed the life­style away from the bustling city.

She was tight-lipped about her next book, which she said was along the lines of the first two. Mrs Can­dler writes a blog called ex­plore dis­cov­er­na­ture.blogspot.co.nz.

Kapi-Mana News had a copy of In the Gar­den to give away. To be el­i­gi­ble to win the book, email us at ed­i­tor@kmananews.co.nz by noon on Fri­day, Novem­ber 29, with ‘‘gar­den’’ in the mes­sage line.

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