Boh Runga reads her book to children at Sunnyvale Primary in West Auckland. Photo / Elliott Macdonald
Singer Boh Runga hit the right note with students from Sunnyvale Primary School yesterday to herald in World Literacy Day.
Written by Runga in 2009, The Lotus and The Snowbird book has now been brought to life by illustrator Elayne Chan.
“The story is set in a magnificent garden filled with wondrous creatures and beautiful plants that inspired the popular Lotus jewellery collection,” Runga said.
To celebrate World Literacy Day, Runga yesterday visited the West Auckland school – supported by the Mazda Foundation and Duffy Books in Homes. She read her book to 45 students in a reo rua class and each student got to take home their own signed copy.
Runga said her visit was to highlight the importance of reading. Research has highlighted a gap in reading proficiency for Māori and reports have outlined the need for Māori-medium education to provide more support in this area.
“I can’t imagine my life without reading and I’d love to inspire that love in the next generation. It’s not just great for the mind but also for the soul; a means to momentarily escape reality,” Runga said.
Duffy Books in Homes aims to inspire a love of books in children so they become adults who enjoy reading.
One dollar from every copy of The Lotus and The Snowbird sold will be donated to Duffy.
Runga said The Lotus and The Snowbird serves as a reminder that as we navigate life with our children by our side, it is they who teach us to see the world through their eyes.
“The book is a fairytale about how friendship can lead to great things. It offers a magical world for both children and adults to escape to,” she said.
Within the pages of the book, readers will find a glossary of “featured creatures” providing insights into the depicted flora and fauna.
“Boh Runga Design has always centred around New Zealand’s incredible wildlife and I love to design with storytelling and meaningful gifting in mind, so releasing this book is a natural step,” she said.
The book release coincides with the release of the first Boh Runga Design children’s jewellery range, new Bohboh baby pieces and an extension of the Lotus jewellery collection.
The Lotus and The Snowbird book is available now at bohrunga.com