Book ideas baled up

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Book ideas baled up

Iconic Australian children’s brand George the Farmer has launched the 13th picture storybook in the series.

Penola’s Simone Kain, founder and author of George the Farmer, was inspired to write a story about hay-making after watching her 10-year-old son Louis’ obsession with making his own hay bales at home.

“He watched a YouTube tutorial on how to make a simple grass press out of wood and it went from there,” she said.

“Every afternoon after school, he would mow the long grass in the paddock and when he eventually had enough dried grass, pop it in his new press and voila! It was quite clever.”

After brainstorming what might happen in the story, Ms Kain asked the 185,000 social media followers what George might find in a hay bale.

“We were swamped with suggestions – some quite funny – some a little strange – but what caught my eye was the true story of a GoPro being dropped from a hot air balloon over a paddock, which was baled for hay near Horsham,” she said.

In 2021, the said action camera was located 200km from where it initially fell, at Te Mania Angus’ farm near Mortlake, Victoria.

“I always weave a bit of mystery and humour into the storyline to make it fun for the kids to read while also learning about farming.

“In this story – along with finding a camera – George also misplaces his prized cricket bat,” Ms Kain said.

Son Louis also tipped the book, printed in Adelaide, as a hit.

“He’s very proud. Of course, he’s probably a little biased, but he’s called it the best yet,” Ms Kain said.

Last week Ms Kain provided a keynote address to a crowd of 1400 people on Sydney Harbour at Rabobank’s Grow2Gether symposium.

The children’s brand and global bank partnership struck last year when Rabobank sponsored 200 book packs into schools in Australia and NZ.

“The partnership has been a great fit as our values align perfectly. They’re supporting to raise our profile while helping to increase the agricultural literacy of thousands of kids,” she said.

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