Kids’ book expands
David Clegg says The Ants, Mayor Grant, Sir Patrick and the old tar laying machine “poured out of him over 11 months”.
He wrote the children’s book for his grandson Elliot, who lives in Colombia.
There’s a photo of Elliot on page two with a foreword where David hopes that when he is old enough, the story will stimulate an interest in Palmerston North.
Once it was finished, David was going to post the book to Elliot.
However, his wife Di suggested he “do something with it because it was good enough”.
The next challenge was illustrations for the book.
The perfect illustrator was Palmerston North-based French artist Emilie Geant, whose whimsical style lent itself to the quirky story about ants that had settled throughout the city.
“The pictures are exciting. She has done a wonderful job,” said David. Emilie put 12 months work into six months to get the book finished in time for the launch at the Globe last week.
The chapter headings are in te reo Ma¯ ori and English, and the rhyme and verse flows as it tells the story of how the Palmerston North community were in despair with “ants in their tapas and ant smell fills the air”.
Businesses were in “total disarray” and Sergeant Tokari said he “must stress
. . . because our station has become a huge unruly mess”.
Competitors and rivals had little choice but to work together and speak with one voice, the book says.
Mrs Frances cried there were “ants in our bread, we have ants in our stew . . . then it fell to Mayor Grant, they all wanted to know what he was going to do”.
The story introduces many local identities who came out to watch as the ants were led toward the Manawatu¯ Gorge by Sir Patrick Higgins.
Copies of the book are $25 each at Bruce McKenzie Booksellers and Paper Plus.
David Clegg with his children’s book The Ants, Mayor Grant, Sir Patrick and the old tar laying machine.