Kate Preece, author One Weka Went Walking.
Longtime magazine editor and now children’s book author Kate Preece was inspired to write One Weka Went Walking, after a stint in the Chatham Islands. Together with their childhood friend Pippa Ensor, who is an architect, they published a book about one of New Zealand’s most vulnerable birds.
Tell us how One Weka Went Walking came to you.
We were visiting family on the Chatham Islands, where wekas join camping gatherings and fill the night with their unmistakable calls. I liked the sound of the words “a weka walked around” and started imagining who this curious bird might encounter.
Little did I know at the time that a fifth of New Zealand’s endangered birds lived on these islands, and the more I studied endemic birds, the more I wanted to share what made them special – and different. of their parents on the continent.
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What’s it like working with a close friend?
It’s good! Pippa and I have been friends since elementary school and One Weka Went Walking has given us another reason to take the time to connect.
I think it is important to have a common vision. We’ve been on the same page since day one, so it’s been easy to support each other through the process.
Interesting fact about one of the birds we meet in the book?
the parry [Chatham Island pigeon] is not only heavier than the kererū, it is one of the biggest pigeons in the world!
Do you have a favorite children’s book (as an adult or as a child) and how has it influenced your storytelling?
I’m a Hairy Maclary fan and can’t get past Green Eggs and Ham. For me, it’s about rhythm, rhyme and repetition, all of which are in my book. I hope children will learn to complete the sentence in the first line repeated on each page, engaging with the story and the person reading it to them.
One Weka Went Walking is out now (Bateman Books, RRP $24.99).