Peter Millett, an Auckland Dad and author of "Five Little Ducks Went Off to School" shares with us where the idea for his latest book came from.
Five Little Ducks Went Off To School is the latest children’s book to emerge from my creative partnership with children’s singer and entertainer Jay Laga’aia. Our previous titles The Kiwi Go Marching One By One and My Old Man He Played Rugby were a joy to produce, and this new title has been just as much fun to make. Adding to our musical book creating partnership is acclaimed children’s illustrator Stevie Mahardhika who is most well-known for his work on the Kiwi Hokey Tokey and Keep Fit Kiwi series. Stevie has done a brilliant job of capturing the humour of my story.
The idea for the book came about from my experience as a busy Auckland house dad taking my kids to school each day. Invariably something important would always get left behind in the rush to get to the classroom on time. Usually it would be a drink bottle or stationary. My job would be to mount rescue missions and locate and return these objects to keep the day going smoothly! Doing the ‘return run’ reminded me of my own experiences at Hauraki Primary School in the 70’s, where my mum would often pop back to hand the teacher my missing lunch.
I’ve turned these ‘lost items’ moments into funny sequences where the Five Little Ducks also have to return home on their way to their first day at school to make amends. The rhyming in the story is set to the tune of the famous Five Little Ducks nursery song, and the book provides many moments for children to sing along to the bouncy lyrics and also add their own QUACK, QUACK, QUACK! sound effects to proceedings as well.
I’ve been writing kids books for twenty odd years, and now that my kids are older I’m able to look back and appreciate the humour of our family experiences, and channel these memories into funny stories.
I like to write books that the whole family can enjoy, and I’m also very aware that there are a large number of busy grandparents also doing school ‘return runs’ at the moment as well!
I hope everyone enjoys reading and singing along to my story.