Actions speak louder than words, but sometimes getting the word out is a form of action. This instalment of the Weekend Name Drop is exploring multiple ways of doing this. Meet Bianca Begovich.
Name: Bianca Begovich
Creative field: Children’s Author, Environmental Educator and Correspondent
Location: Waikanae, New Zealand
Best known for: Author of the Nature and Me series
My connection: I first heard from Bianca around this time last year. She e-mailed Taumarunui High School to see if we were interested in hosting Nicky Hager and Mike Joy as guest speakers. In my role as leader of English, I responded and we corresponded until both Nicky and Bianca visited the school last August (Mike Joy couldn’t make it). After Nicky’s talk, I thanked them both by presenting them with copies of my novel, The Chain, and we enjoyed some coffee and conversation. A short time later, Bianca contacted me on Facebook to say she had read and enjoyed my book, and we have maintained contact on there since. Recently, she sent me copies of two of her own books.
Inspiration for this writer: Bianca’s two greatest passions are children and the environment. Her support of Nicky Hager’s visits to schools impressed upon me the commitment she has to influencing children in the areas of critical thinking and activism. Everything I’ve learned about Bianca since has corresponded with this impression, from the creation of her children’s books to her regular column in the Kapiti Independent, in which she challenges readers to consider environmental issues in light of current events such as the election of Donald Trump and controversial statements made by Stephen Hawking. I’m always inspired by people who stay focused on their passions and find creative ways to integrate them into the bigger picture.
Why you should check her out and share with others: Bianca seems to have her finger on the pulse when it comes to global environmental issues as well as what can be done about them on a local level. This theme resonates in her books in which she first establishes the paramount place of trees, oceans and their creatures in our ecological systems, before introducing the threats to these and what even the smallest of us can do to bring some remedy. Her rhythms and rhymes are fun to read aloud and each page of poetry is complimented by an interesting fact, incorporating Bianca’s scientific background. We should also note the work of her illustrator, Scott Pearson, whose use of colour, especially, balances the tones of delight and seriousness which are necessary in communicating Bianca’s message of both enjoyment and protection of our natural world.
Sample of work:
Birds large and small had somewhere to roam,
Safe quiet places that we could call home.
Birds and bugs, the trees and you,
Each one of us has something to do.
Bugs use the tree leaves to build their homes,
And we birds need bugs to build up our bones.
We birds love the forest, but trees need us too,
We spread around seeds. They come out in our poo.
Trees produce wood and help to make air,
And trees give us food that grows fresh every year.
Listen to Bianca, along with her children, telling Radio New Zealand about her writing and life in their veggie garden, and watch her video trailer for The Trees and Me: