My favourite place  – the New Zealand bush –  is the topic of my latest book. It’s a book for children, informed by many walks in the bush with botanists, bird lovers, and those steeped in bush lore.

Many of the plants and animals featured are those I’ve discovered as I walk by myself, with other trampers or with children. From the delightful hen and chicken ferns to the mysterious, membrane-covered puriri caterpillar holes found in certain tree trunks. I hope the book will encourage children to get up close and touch tree trunks and ferns, as well as to know what to avoid – bush lawyer and onga onga!

Opening scene of In the Bush

The book wouldn’t be complete without some of the rare and endangered species that can only be seen in bush sanctuaries. Like the other scenes in the book, our sanctuary is one we’ve made up to suit the animals we wanted to show. I’m not sure there is any mainland sanctuary that has all of tieke, hihi, kokako, tuatara, robins and kaka.

It was a pleasure to work with illustrator Ned Barraud again and see the images unfold. He’s captured the look and feel of the bush, from the magic night-time scene to the mossy filtered sunlight peculiar to beech forests.

Publishers Potton and Burton have added a pull out laminated card in the back of the book, dedicated to native birds, this will be handy when you are off to the bush with children to take part in the Great Kereru Count (19-27 September). Perhaps they’ll spot other birds too.

In the Bush has a laminated card in the back

Need other ideas of things to do with kids in the outdoors or a rainy day at home? There are ideas to accompany the book for parents and educators that will be soon be available at www.pottonandburton/store/in-the-bush

This year we’ve not planned a book launch, more a virtual launch. In the Bush will be in all good bookshops from 21st September. If you want to buy a hardcover version of the book order it online at www.pottonandburton/store/in-the-bush

Watch this blog or Facebook for book events closer to Christmas.

Book launch last year at the Children’s Bookshop.
Just in time for the Great Kereru Count – New Book Launched