Garden life inspires new children’s book
Living on a small slice of paradise in Wharepapa South is what inspires children’s author and illustrator Deborah Hinde.
Deborah works from her home studio and gathers ideas for stories and illustrations from the animals that wander through her garden.
Watching a hedgehog “trundle, snuffle and sniff” through the garden one day formed the main character for Deborah’s latest picture book.
Hollybee Hope Wants a Prickly Coat is the story of a hedgehog with a prickly problem — she doesn’t have any spines.
Hollybee Hope wants to look like a real hedgehog, and one morning when she finds a brush in a bucket she decides to take matters into her own hands.
Deborah says the theme of the story is self-acceptance.
“It’s also about learning that being different has its advantages.”
“I chose a hedgehog as a main character because they are cute and loved by parents and children,” Deborah says.
“We often see them passing through the garden — along with hares, rabbits and pheasants.”
“I began developing the story by exploring problems a hedgehog could have. That’s when I came up with the no spines idea. Then I came up with creative ways a wee hedgehog along with her friends could solve her problem.”
Hollybee Hope Wants a Prickly Coat is the second book Deborah has written, illustrated and published, following Hare, which was released in 2016.
Deborah has illustrated more than 70 books — fiction and nonfiction — for different publishers in New Zealand and overseas.
Her break into illustrating picture books came when she signed with Scholastic for the best-selling
A Kiwi Night Before Christmas,
released in 2003.
Other picture books she has illustrated include Moo and Moo and the Little Calf Too, 10 Kooky Kiwi and the recently-released A Kiwi Day Before Christmas.
Deborah began working on her own stories in 2014 and found she had the skills to produce a book and put it on the shelves of bookstores.
Alongside graphic design, printing, writing and illustrating, Deborah also knows how to design books and prepare files for printing offshore.
This year Deborah and her partner Mark set up a company called The Book Department for the wholesale supply and distribution of Deborah’s books.
“Selling the books ourselves is rewarding,” she says.
“We’re in contact with people that are passionate about children’s books and are supportive of New Zealand authors.”
Deborah and Mark have a regular spot at the monthly Tamahere Country Market to sell her books and art prints.
“People are often surprised — and delighted — when they realise it’s the author/illustrator selling them the book,” Deborah says.
“They are buying it straight from the hands that created it.” Deborah also sells signed copies of books and prints from www.picturebook.co.nz
■ Deborah Hinde will celebrate the release of her new book at Te Awamutu Paper Plus on Book Shop Day, Saturday, October 27 11am-2pm.
Wharepapa South author and illustrator Deborah Hinde works from her home studio in Wharepapa South.