Locally owned and focused.

To enjoy all the features of our content download the App by clicking on the banner above.


Waimakariri Community Updates

Local news, Sports, Information, Events and much more...

Beloved pets inspire early childhood teacher’s first children’s book

Burwood Kindercare’s early childhood teacher and Kaiapoi resident, Shannon Barker decided in high school that one day she would write a children’s book. 
Today she gathers her preschool kids in a circle and reads to them her book Shadow and Willow - The Mouse Hunt.
Shannon admits it felt exciting and kind of weird to read her own book to the children she teaches, but says they enjoyed it, asking for the book to be read again. 
“That’s really positive when they’re actually enjoying it because they’re my audience. It’s the parents who end up buying it or the family, but the children have got to enjoy the book as well.” 
The first book in the series follows Shannon’s much-loved cats, Shadow and Willow on a fun adventure together, a mouse chase in the great outdoors.
Shadow black with long-hair loves to follow Shannon around the house while Willow, a mixed short-haired tabby spends most of her time outside.
Despite their differences, Shannon says the two cats love spending time together and curling up asleep next to one another. 

These cherished felines have inspired Shannon to write several more books in their own self-titled series, including a Christmas adventure to be released in the near future - depending on the success of her first book.

“I’m sort of aiming for seven, but if I think of an idea, I’ll write it,” she laughs, “I’ll just keep writing!” 

Shannon says the best part about writing her first children’s book was seeing the story come to life.

“I was super nervous about how the book would look, being my first one, and I was just so stoked with how it is. I really liked seeing my designs and how the illustrator has done it. It’s got a nice soft touch cover, which is really nice for younger children to touch and it’s full of rhyming.” 

For every book sold, Shannon will be donating a dollar towards research done by the Bowel and Liver Trust for Crohn’s disease and IBS - a cause she holds close to her heart.

“Crohn’s and IBS runs in both sides of my family, I also have some friends with Crohn’s as well. I just wanted to do what I could to help out. There’s no cure at the moment, so I really wanted it to go towards research and helping people that do have it.”

Each book costs $17.95 (with added postage $4 untracked and $6.50 tracked). 
To purchase Shannon’s book text 027 596 7575 or email SL.barker@hotmail.co.nz or visit her Facebook page ‘Shadow and Willow – Children’s Books.’ https://www.facebook.com/Shadow-and-Willow-Childrens-Books-111124464049107/

What they are saying...