Author Samantha Tidy has been inspired to create a children’s book after raising her kids in Canberra.
Our Bush Capital, illustrated by the talented Juliette Dudley, will feature cherished Canberra experiences, including chasing dinosaurs at the National Dinosaur Museum through to seeing the season’s first snowflakes in the Brindabellas. We sat down with Samantha to talk about her inspiration for this project and how her vision can become a reality.
What inspired you to create this children’s book?
“Having lived in many cities both overseas and in Australia, I have deliberately chosen Canberra to live in and raise my children. It’s a calm and nurturing place, with a diverse and embracing community where you can thrive. We really do have a strong sense of community – what more could you want for your kids?
Coming to this realisation was the inspiration for the book – I had a profound moment where I realised – I have finally found my home, and I am so happy to live here. I want this book to say “don’t forget this time – you’re going to be so chuffed you grew up here!”
Do you have a favourite Canberra childhood memory that is showcased in this book?
I wasn’t lucky enough to grow up in Canberra, but my kids are! I have included what I think will be their own childhood memories in the book – early morning adventures to watch the balloons take off during the balloon festival, rides on the Floriade Ferris wheel and the merry-go-round in civic, visits to Canberra’s many cultural institutions.
My kids love to shout out, “Look Mum, there’s the rocket ship!” whenever we spot the Telstra Tower. I wonder how many other kids call it a rocket ship, and I love that local artist, Trevor Dickinson captured that for this year’s Heritage Festival!
Illustrator Juliette chimed in to share her experience. “Growing up in the suburbs of Canberra, I was surrounded by bush and parkland which, having left Canberra to live overseas as a teenager for a few years, I have a new appreciation for just how lucky we are to have nature-based open space. The book showcases the changing tones of the autumn trees and many native birds in the bush that surrounds us.”
How can the Canberra community support this project?
The initial costs to print the book locally are being crowdfunded – which means, unless we reach the target, it won’t be published. It is getting closer to the target every day but with only a short time to go, we are certainly not there yet!
The best way to make sure the book is published, is to pre-purchase your own copy for $25 (where you can have you or your child’s name listed in the book and you attend the exclusive launch to collect it), or $30 for it to be posted to you (which also includes a sheet of stickers that read “I’m a Canberra kid and proud”). It’s that simple!
Local businesses can also sponsor the book, or order bulk copies if they want to share it with their clients.
How can fans connect with you?