This book is written for young readers, and my aim was to take a complex story, a rainforest ecosystem and tell it in a simple form.
Jane Bowring did the business side of things, specified and managed the language levels and edited the work. Kim did the paintings, and we met for the first time in 2008. Curiously, it worked very well.
The notional rainforest was somewhere on the north coast of New South Wales, and the biology was managed so that anything described in the book could be seen there, if the conditions were right. For the most part, the principles were very general
The Penguins had fits because of an emotive bit that ended the book ("Maybe, one day, the lyrebird will forget what a chainsaw sound like"). Have I ever mentioned that I detest marketing people? We told them to go take a long run down a short jetty, and in the end, they caved in. Just as well, because "The Rainforest" was shortlisted for the Wilderness Society's Environment Award for children's literature -- we missed the Big One, but, hey, somebody out there likes us -- and in July 2000, we took out a Whitley award for "Best Children's Book -- Story and Illustration". See The Whitley Awards page of the Royal Zoological Society of NSW for more.
I think we would have missed both of these if we had listened to the clowns who wanted to cut that line.
This file is http://members.ozemail.com.au/~macinnis/writing/rainforest.htm
Created July 2009, last revised November 12, 2010, when the RZSNSW got the awards winners up online again. The link works now.