The Water Bottle is the story of three children: Tom, Airini and Derya. They come from different backgrounds, but maybe their families are connected in ways they don’t yet know.
This has been a lovely book to work on. There are a number of Anzac Day-themed picture books, but I think this one is unique for its pairing of a NZ writer and Turkish illustrator. I loved working with Oratia and seeing how the project developed, from our initial discussion to the finished book.
Picture book writers and illustrators often work quite separately, but because Burak Akbay was in Turkey, we sent him suggestions for some NZ scenes, like what a typical war memorial or classroom might look like. But of course he was very familiar with the Turkish scenes, and it was fascinating to see his interpretation of them, and to watch the illustrations developing as he created them.
You can read more about the book (and my own trip to Gallipoli) here on my website.