The author of the award-winning Tales From The Farm picture book series, Jennifer Somervell, says she was delighted to bring her books to Flemington School, as the school is just 30km from where the stories all began.

The stories are based on her childhood adventures in the 70s on their family farm near Takapau, and Jennifer is visiting schools throughout the country on a three-week tour. She says the stories are a real hit with rural children, who identify with them.

"The children act the stories out and they are very realistic, especially when they are acting the escaping pigs story ... it's hilarious. When I'm visiting town schools I have to teach the children how to act like pigs!

Flemington School Y6 and Y8 students with author Jennifer Somervell.
Flemington School Y6 and Y8 students with author Jennifer Somervell.

"At Flemington we had a neat session with the seniors talking about writing and book production. There will be some writers among these children. Judging from the questions they asked. Having a writer standing in front of them encourages them to write their own stories.

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"Country kids have practical questions. We talked a lot about cowsheds after the story about the day Dad blew up the cowshed. That story is in its fourth reprint, it really resonates with the kids and it's one our family's favourite childhood memories. Dad was very humble but I think he'd be chuffed that he's so famous now. He would think it was funny."

Y1 and Y2 students with the author, who says she had a wonderful visit to the school.
Y1 and Y2 students with the author, who says she had a wonderful visit to the school.

Jennifer says it's a privilege to take her stories into schools - including along winding gravel roads.

"It started as an experiment and I am really enjoying it. Sometimes I have to pinch myself and ask 'is this really happening?'"