KŌWHAI AND THE GIANTS
Mary Eagan Publishing
Kowhai first appeared from the golden glow of a beautiful flower… and her voice was the rain and the sea and the cry of a bird.’ Follow Kowhai as she discovers a tiny seed’s hope to build a great forest.
Debut children’s author Kate Parker is a visual artist and theatre maker who is inspired to support positive environmental change on our planet. Here she creatively shares her vision of reforesting Aotearoa, one seedling at a time.
Kowhai and the Giants is a bitter/sweet story about the decimation of Aotearoa’s mighty forests following human habitation. But it is also a story of hope. While Kowhai may be small and alone, her actions will bring about change and soon, she will be joined by others.
“When you go to nature and you take care, you will be reimbursed with energy. I always felt the presence of beings in the forests where I grew up. Kowhai represents these beings in some way, committed to the preservation of the natural world. We are all a part of this. We can all be kaitiaki, it is in fact our responsibility (to be caretakers for our natural surroundings) and when we take this on in any way we can, positive change happens. Even in a city you can support environmental projects. If we can support Aotearoa’s native plant diversity to flourish, then we are supporting so many native birds, insects and fish. This diversity feeds the land and cleanses its waters. It sustains us.” — Kate Parker
Kowhai and the Giants asks the reader to listen with all their senses to their natural surroundings and to discover Kowhai’s call for themselves. A wise and beautifully told fable, its compelling narrative will kindle a desire to spend time in nature, search for seeds and to grow native plants and trees – a hopeful picture of the future for children aged four to ten and their caregivers.
In the resources section at the back of Kowhai and the Giants, Parker encourages children to plant native seeds. She includes a link to Forest & Bird’s Kiwi Conservation Club – Hakuturi Toa website www.kcc.org.nz for inspiring tips.
Kowhai and the Giants is “Like the shadows of memory on a landscape, caught between lightness and darkness, the past and future, a beautifully cast tale of hope and resilience,” says acclaimed artist Shaun Tan.
The unique and intriguing artwork for Kowhai and the Giants was created from hand-cut paper, placed in a plywood box and lit from behind. It was first exhibited in 2016, at the Arataki Visitor Centre, following Parker’s Auckland Council artist’s residency at Anawhata. There was an exhibition of the light boxes in the window of Auckland store Smith and Caughey from 17 to 21 March, as part of the Auckland Arts Festival – Aroha 2021.
36pp 270 x 190 mm
Mary Egan Publishing