Bundaberg author Leisa Stewart-Sharpe is celebrating the publication of her first children’s book, Blue Planet II, with a special book reading at the Bargara Book Boutique next week.
With a foreword by Sir David Attenborough, Blue Planet II is the first of four titles in a major new children’s non-fiction series in collaboration with the BBC, aimed at children aged eight years and over.
Already an Amazon bestseller, Leisa hopes fans of the show will delight in seeing some of the iconic stories retold and reimagined with stunning illustrations.
Reimagining stories shared through BBC’s Blue Planet II, the book takes children on a journey to the wondrous world beneath the waves to explore coral reefs and discover creatures beyond their wildest imagination.
In collaboration with BBC Earth, this illustrated non-fiction book captures the wonder, beauty, and emotion of the iconic BBC Blue Planet II TV series.
“My first job was working at Dymocks Bundaberg when it had just opened 25 years ago,” Leisa said.
“I often wonder if that planted the seed for writing children’s books all these years later.”
She said growing up in Bundaberg had played a huge role in her career as an author with a focus on the natural world.
“All of those days spent body-surfing at Kelly’s, snorkelling at Lady Musgrave and listening to the storm birds call from the mango tree in the garden,” she said.
“They all bubbled away inspiring my fascination for the natural world.
“That’s why now, more than ever, I feel like it’s my job to help give a voice to nature. Earth is getting hotter, drier, our weather is getting wilder, the sea is getting higher, and more and more extinctions will happen in our lifetime.
“Books that help kids, their parents, teachers, and grandparents to understand what’s happening around us, and maybe even inspire some change, will hopefully help us make this big blue marble a better place to call home.”
It’s shaping up to be a busy spring for the Bundy-born-and-raised author, who has another non-fiction book out in October; How Does Chocolate Taste on Everest.
The book will whisk young readers away on the expedition of a lifetime to experience the sights, sounds, smells, feelings and tastes of the world’s most extreme places, from Mount Everest and the Mariana Trench to The River Nile.
And if that weren’t enough, her third book, What A Wonderful World, will publish just in time for Christmas.
It will take budding conservationists on a tour of the planet, introducing 35 Earth Shakers– scientists, activists and explorers – who are fighting to protect it.
Leisa has another seven children’s non-fiction and picture books on the way between now and 2024.
“Being an author is a fantastic adventure!” she said.
“I get to do the thing I love most in the world… writing stories about wild things and wild places that make our planet unlike anywhere else in the galaxy.”
Leisa will be celebrating the release of Blue Planet II at a special book reading at Bargara Book Boutique on Saturday, 14 August at 10.30am.
To RSVP for the event visit Bargara Book Boutique on Facebook.