Two people’s love of children’s literature has fertilised the growth of The Sapling, a brand-new website dedicated entirely to celebrating children’s books.
With the website launching on 6 March, Jane Arthur and Sarah Forster are excited to be bringing their passion project into the world.
Sarah says, “With funding from Creative NZ, and a very successful crowdfunding campaign behind us, we are in an amazing space to really change the conversation about children’s literature in New Zealand. We deeply believe that it should be valued far more than it currently is - and over 140 Boosted campaign donors, giving $12,000, agree with us.”
There are 11 articles completed, edited and ready to go live on 6 March, and there will be 4-5 articles per week after that.
Jane notes, “We’re aiming to become the primary place to find reliable, robust discussions about diverse, quality new children’s literature.”
The focus will be on New Zealand children’s literature, but they won’t be ignoring the international scene. In particular, they will have regular interviews with an Australian author or illustrator.
“While I love the essay Miriama Kamo has written about Pounamu Pounamu, the piece I am really jumping up and down about sharing with the wider world is a fantastic interview between Gavin Bishop and David Elliott about Elliott’s brilliant Snark,” says Sarah. “Two top-ranked author-illustrators talking shop: how awesome is that?!”
Jane says, “We’re excited to become a platform for new voices as well as the established experts. I’m really proud of snaffling award-winning emerging young poet and essayist Nina Powles for regular essays about books that influenced her childhood.Her first piece about Hermione from the Harry Potter series is poetic, smart and political; it’s a must-read.”
So on Monday 6 March, go ahead and check out www.thesapling.co.nz. If you are passionate about children’s books, it might just have exactly the conversation you are looking for.