Talula Hodder has recently designed, written and illustrated a children's book as her degree project for her final year in her computer graphic design degree.
Dedicated to Iris and Azalea, Talula's daughters, the book is called Adventures in Lula Land. It's about a girl and a dog who leave Earth in a rocket ship to find a cleaner planet.
The book is written in a rhythmic, rhyming style, easy to read, with clear, colourful, clever illustrations that make the book fun and interesting.
"I was really inspired by Dr Seuss. I thought that was the coolest thing about his books. He's got deep messages but because they're rhyming they just sound like a fun, silly story," says Talula.
Adventures in Lula Land has a strong environmental message about sustainability.
Talula finished her Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design last week. As well as the book, she also produced posters, stickers and a digital version people could flick through on a screen.
She enrolled to do fine arts but switched part way through, enabling her to combine the two disciplines to create her Lula Land.
"That's where the inspiration for the pictures came from in the sense that I drew them by hand then scanned them in and digitally coloured them."
Talula's partner, Eli Lamont, works for Inferno Design. The firm was able to offer her a good deal on the printing of the book.
"It made it affordable for me to print it myself. I'm very grateful to Jeff [Croot, owner of Inferno]."
She took it to H&A Print to get them to cut, trim and staple it. The paper is good quality and the printing is of a high standard.
"I'm really happy with how they turned out."
The first print run of 32 sold out within a few days. The next lot will have a laminate cover added by H&A to add value and durability.
"I had a reading at Harriette Vine Kindergarten and had 40 kids sitting listening. They sat perfectly quiet and fully understood it, which was great."
Eli and Talula have combined their initials and talents to form a publishing company — ET Publishers. She intends to write more books and ET will be a vehicle for her work, all of which will be 100 per cent designed, written, illustrated, printed and produced in Whanganui.
Talula has just finished her second book called Get to Know Your Monsters. It's dedicated to Eli's daughter, Addisyn and is designed to help alleviate children's fear of the dark through humour.
Both books are available from Paige's Book Gallery in Guyton St.
She will also have a stall at Space Gallery's Christmas Market.
"I'm working part time at Mint Café and The Citadel but I'm planning next year to get into my art and design and get a few more books going."
Talula's mother is also a children's book illustrator.
"The apple didn't fall that far from the tree.
"The books are a combination of all the things I like so it's turned out well."