Enemy Invaders up for Children’s Book Award

02 Jun 2010

Attenboroughette, author and F & B staffer, Nic Vallance has had her book –Invaders - listed as one of the finalists in the LIANZA NZ Children’s Book Awards.

The zoology-scholar cum television-presenter penned the book while she was filming the TVNZ6 series – Meet the Locals. Invaders is a quirky but factual account of the pests and predators that have wreaked havoc on our native wildlife. It is Vallance’s first book.

In 2008, New Holland publishers approached her to write a series of books about New Zealand’s natural history, after reading some of her columns in the Otago Daily Times.

“I had never written a book before but I’m a big kid really and I’m a nature nerd, so it just seemed like a perfect fit. The whole thing was a blur. My poor publisher – they were very generous really given that I had never done anything like this before.”

Nic is delighted her first effort at nature-writing has landed Invaders as a finalist in the prestigious LIANZA Children’s Book Awards.

“Having spent the last three years travelling around New Zealand and meeting our precious native wildlife, I felt that the story of all the ‘baddies of the bush’ and the devastating impact they’ve had on our natural heritage, just had to be told,” she said.

“It’s fantastic to think that the judges consider it a story worth telling too.”
The book is filled with 100 colour photographs by Rod Morris and is divided into sections that illustrates the various onslaughts our native animals have suffered, from pet escape artists to sneaky stowaways.

“Some of the best-loved newcomers are the worst offenders - cats, mice, hedgehogs, dogs, possums - and between them they have snuffed out untold numbers of native animals and plants.”

At the moment, she is working on the next book in the series ‘Wild Buddies’ which is due to be published in the coming year. The winners of the Children’s Book Awards will be announced in August.