Children's book focuses on Fairlie

19:44, Oct 25 2012
caley hall
PICTURE BOOK: Fairlie artist Caley Hall is publishing a picture book, Jackson and the Plum Tree, based on goings-on in the town.

Fairlie's people - and their animals - have been the inspiration for a soon-to-be released children's book.

Caley Hall, who runs the Kimbell Garage Gallery, said the idea arose after the pet pig, Jackson, was spotted stealing from the plum tree.

"The way he got away with it made me think it would make a great children's story," he said.

"I've been so lucky to get such a great artist, Ira Mitchell-Kirk, working with me, some of the pictures are so detailed."

The first book, Jackson and the Plum Tree will also have characters based on local figures.

Mr Hall, who came to Fairlie three years ago, said it was the first time he had tried his hand at writing a children's book.


"I've got six stories worked out, and I want to have the first book published in time for Christmas. In all of them, a character based on me is the narrator," he said.

"I initially just wanted to have them on sale at the gallery, but I've managed to get them printed in Invercargill, and hopefully, get the book into stores."

Mr Hall said it was a challenge finding time to write the book and send it away to be illustrated, due to his other commitments at the gallery.

"The gallery is getting more and more crowded, we can have several hundred visitors to this tiny garage space on a public holiday," he said.

"There are about 100 different artists who exhibit with me at the gallery. Many of them are up-and-comers."

Mr Hall said the neighbouring menagerie of animals had also proved popular with the tourists, as well as providing an inspiration for the stories.

"The bus-loads of tourists love them, they pet the sheep, who are very docile. I'm trying to secure a tahr and some other animals," he said.

"All of them have their own stories."

The Timaru Herald