By GUY WILLIAMS
Take a true story and improve on it a little.
That’s the approach Glenorchy artist Dine Riera took when she decided to write a children’s book about Pigeon Island’s weka.
The result is her first book, The Extraordinary True Story of the Weka of ake Wakatipu.
Riera, whose artist’s name is ‘Dine the Fox’, tells Mountain Scene she wrote the book a year ago while on holiday in her native France.
Her inspiration was a visit to Pigeon Island, where she wondered why there were weka there but nowhere else in the area.
When she was told why — that the Department of Conservation put them there — it was just too prosaic.
‘‘I thought that was boring, so I decided to give my own explanation.’’
Riera says she got a kick out of featuring the landscapes of Lake Whakatipu in the book, as well as illustrating a bunch of well-known locals — like Rees Valley Station farmer Kate Scott, archaeologist and conservationist Leslie van Gelder and sculptor Dan Kelly.
Produced by Queenstown Printing and released in late October, the book’s initial print run’s selling well.
She’s also hoping to write another book in due course.
Riera, who became a mum for the first time four months ago with the arrival of son Leo, has been living in Glenorchy for the past four years.
‘‘I came here to visit a friend but then met my partner, straight away, so I stayed.’’
● The Extraordinary True Story of the Weka of Lake Wakatipu’s for sale at Bound Books & Records and the Kiwi Birdlife Park in Queenstown and Mrs Woolly’s and The Trading Post in Glenorchy.