Children’s author explores New Zealand war heroes

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How much do you know about New Zealand’s war heroes?
Children’s book author Maria Gill was in Central Otago last week to find out what school children knew about some of the country’s best known war veterans.
‘ I thought it would be good to write about really brave people from World War 1 and World
War 2. ‘
The heroes she asked about all star in her latest book Anzac Heroes, which she spoke to the children about as well as her journey as an author.
This was the Matakanabased author’s first time in Central Otago.
Gill has been writing for 14 years, full-time for the past 12 years.
Her first book was published about 2004 and since then she has published 47 books, 17 of them children’s books.
The latest book, Anzac Heroes, has been shortlisted for New Zealand Book Awards for children and young adults by both judges and children.
Gill said she decided to write the book as the 100 year commemorations of World War 1 were coming up.
‘I thought it would be good to write about really brave people from World War 1 and World War 2.’’
She had also had two great-uncles who fought in World War 1.
She had enjoyed writing the book. Some of her other favourite books towrite were New Zealand Hall of Fame and The Call of the Kokako.
Gill said she had always loved writing and reading, and she had kept a diary and written letters toher grandmother as a child.
As well as children’s books, she wrote educational books which were used as resources throughout New Zealand schools.
Her next book to be released is called Find It Volcanoes, which comes out next month.
Gill said she had been approached by Dorling Kindersley (DK) to publish the book, which would be on sale worldwide.
‘‘It’s just about getting out there.’’
While in Central Otago, Gill also visited Holy Family School, Cromwell Primary School and Remarkables Primary School.
She said she enjoyed her trip to the region and had taken in some of the countryside while she was here.