For Te Awamutu teacher Amy Harrop, publishing her first children's book is a dream come true.
Amy releases There's a Hedgehog in My Pants! this week and will be celebrating with a book signing on Saturday, April 6.
Amy is a part-time teacher at Te Awamutu Primary School and mother to children Finlay, 4 and Josie, 2.
She says the purpose of There's a Hedgehog in My Pants! is to make children laugh.
The book is written in playful rhyme, a hilarious story of kindness, problem-solving and learning how to share.
A little hedgehog gets in a pickle in his hunt for a new home, and a boy gets more than he bargained for during a camping holiday.
Amy says the book is not for the easily offended as it introduces young readers to a multitude of synonyms for "bottom".
It features cheeky illustrations by bestselling Kiwi artist Ross Kinnaird, illustrator of I Need a New Bum, Why Do Dogs Sniff Bottoms? and Doctor Grundy's Undies.
Amy has a passion for children's books, particularly those with quirky humour and a twist.
She says funny and engaging books help children fall in love with reading — and she knows in her role as library manager at Te Awamutu Primary School.
"Some kids don't like to read and write because they find it hard," Amy says.
"But when you teach them different ways to read they realise what they're actually capable of.
"I love teaching children how to unlock their reading potential."
Amy says being published is a dream come true and a goal that she's been working towards for the last five years.
"For me, the greatest honour would be for this book to be in all New Zealand homes and one of those books that is read over and over again," she says.
Amy submitted the book idea to publisher Scholastic New Zealand in February 2018 after encouragement from her husband Mark, principal of Pāterangi School.
Now that she's got her foot in the door of the industry, she plans to carry on writing and hopes to be published again.
Scholastic New Zealand publisher Lynette Evans says Amy's story is clever, catchy and outrageously funny.
"We are all about making reading fun, and with the hilarious illustrations by Ross Kinnaird, there is no question that this book is a challenge for anyone attempting to read out loud without laughing out loud."
There's a Hedgehog in My Pants! is available this week from most New Zealand bookstores and online stockists.
Amy is hosting a book launch at Te Awamutu Paper Plus on Saturday, April 6 at 11am. Children and families are invited to meet Amy, purchase a signed book and enjoy a reading of the book. Illustrator Ross Kinnaird will also be at the book launch.