Author(s): Marnie Anstis
A child listens to Koro and Grandma as they weave a tale about the life and times of the ancient puriri tree Taketakerau, the settlement and development of Aotearoa New Zealand, and world events over the last 2000 years.
New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2013
Marnie Anstis was born in the shadow of Taranaki in the early 1950′s. When she was five, her family moved to the Waikato where she attended Tahuna Primary School followed by Morrinsville College. Leaving school at 15, she spent the next nine years working on a family farm in the hills behind Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty. “I loved exploring this new environment: the dense dark bush that layered the slopes, the trickling waterfalls, the rushing streams, the wide open view from hilltops – but most of all I loved the isolation. Mustering sheep and cattle, often barefoot-in-bikini, I lived a carefree existence. Fleeco-ing, pressing wool, scrub-cutting, fencing: all hands-on, practical hard work involving blood, sweat and blisters. I spent hours droving stock on horseback, and swore (not only at dogs) never to milk cows or go market-gardening.” But love changed her outlook. She married Peter, who just happened to be a local dairy farmer. Marnie and her husband Peter live on a dairy farm near the Hukutaia Domain.
After years of painting and drawing the New Zealand high country while working full-time as a lawyer, Patricia Howitt now lives on 10 acres in the Far North, adjacent to virgin bush – one of the continuing inspirations for her work. She has 3 dogs, 4 cats and chickens – all survivors. She freelances in art, illustration, and Internet design and graphics from her home.
Kelly Spencer was born and bred basking in the sunshine of the east coast of New Zealand, but now endures the chill that is Wellington, on account of the nourishing and ever flourishing artistic community. She works as a freelance illustrative artist, moonlighting in graphic design.