Sunday, September 02, 2007

Kids’ book illustrated by Weta Workshop to be launched - Xoanon @ 17:48 PST

Kids’ book illustrated by Weta Workshop to be launched

The first children’s picture book to be illustrated by artists from the award-winning Weta Workshop is due to be launched in September, New Zealand Book Month.

Featuring a little rescue helicopter, Champ the Chopper is the first book in a series written by local author Rebekah Palmer with the illustrations done by artists from Weta Workshop, Daniel Falconer and Chris Guise.

The picture book will be launched by Weta Workshop managing director Richard Taylor at the Life Flight Trust Air Rescue hangar in Wellington on Saturday, September 15 at 2pm. Entry is by gold coin donation.

Champ is part of Kids Rescue, an organization run by kids. In each book Champ and the kids go on daring missions to rescue children in trouble. The stories have been edited by best-selling author Joy Cowley. She believes the series will be a great favourite with children.

“These stories are great,” says Joy. “Children will love them – especially little boys. What a gift they will be to schools and libraries. I think you’re on to a real winner with this series.”

Publisher West Egg Books is donating $1 from every book sold to real rescue helicopter operations, including Life Flight Trust.

The books are aimed at encouraging reading, especially for young boys. Education Ministry figures show a large gap in the performance between boys and girls in reading. Boys make up more than 60% of the bottom quarter performers in reading literacy.

“It’s vital we encourage more young boys to read,” says Weta Workshop managing director Richard Taylor. “This series of books generates excitement through real-life situations and strong characters and it empowers kids. We think Champ the Chopper will help get kids reading.”

Books will be available for $16.99 at all good booksellers or through the website