Children's writer and long-time environmental educator Bianca Begovich is launching the final of a three-part book series on Sunday, aimed at empowering children to understand and protect their environment.
The Bugs and Me, which follows The Sea and Me and The Trees and Me, tackles a large-scale issue in a simplistic and creative rhyming approach, using Bianca's 20-plus years' experience as a botanist with a Masters in Science.
"While there are some great children's books written around conservation, I found the market lacked those that described the processes and cycles and put us into the stories," said Bianca from her Waikanae home; part of an eco-subdivision thriving with nature and untouched dunes, rain water systems and solar heating.
"It's my hope that by making these big ideas easily accessible and engaging, children will feel a sense of belonging and kinship with the natural world."
With her first book The Sea and Me having become a bestseller, thanks to its hard facts set in rhythmic scenes and a gentle tone, Bianca has seen her books purchased by a range of local and national schools.
"Each of the books comes with a free teacher's resource they can download from the website, which gives them a whole range of activities from colouring in bugs right up to going out and doing a restoration project.
"It's a critical topic for children to understand since we are the dominant species within the natural processes."
Having been involved in environmental education for over a decade, including work in waste minimisation for Porirua City Council, and additional energy, gardening and restoration work for Wellington regional councils, Bianca's focus has been "anything to do with environmental protection".
As part of her experience, she has tramped around the country viewing New Zealand's thriving and diverse array of plant life, as well as "some of the bad bits around where we pollute, and our water ways that are really stuffed".
"I feel really privileged that this is where my background has taken me.
"Writing is an opportunity to give a voice to those things that don't have a voice - such as the sea, trees and bugs."
Available through New Zealand publishing agent createbooks.co.nz, Bianca's popular and relevant paperbacks carry a lifelong passion and concepts that evolved from her twenties.
"This is my passion. As a young child I spend hours at my parent's concrete steps watching the ants, captivated by them and how interesting it was.
"I remember thinking, 'I hope everyone knows about this'."
The Bugs and Me book launch is taking place at Raumati Beach School this Sunday November 8, from 11am.