author: Barry Crump
illustrator: Lyn Kriegler
The latest installment in Barry Crump's much-loved series launches May 7, 2009 in Auckland at the Children's Bookshop in Ponsonby. The book's appearance is a direct result of a Writers In Schools visit by Lyn Kriegler to Grey Lynn School in early 2008.
Lyn suggested that a page of the new book be devoted to the history of the Pungapeople. According to Barry's memoirs, he had been walking a West Coast track in Punakaikai, when he came across a tiny pair of children's shoes stuck in the mud and abandoned.
for children. His love for Maori legends of fairy folk, the Patupairehe, played a major role in his inspiration.
Lyn relates an eerie incident in her development of the artwork for the Pungapeople. "After Martin paid a visit to me out here at my studio at KareKare (also a traditional home of the Patupairehe, the fairy "children of the mist"), my husband and I decided to go for a drive down to the beach. There are a lot of track entrances on our road, and as we passed the entrance to the Huia Ridge Track, there were a pair of muddy children's shoes, prominently placed neatly at the entrance to he track. i got out and examined them; they were very muddy, and looked like they had been there a long time. I took a photo of them, seeing it a an odd coincidence, having just been discussing Barry's inspiration with Martin. When I developed the photo, it was green! I retrieved the shoes some weeks later, and now I tell the story(and show the photo) to schoolchildren, showing them the shoes when discussing 'Where do writers get their ideas from?' It always gets everyone's attention!"
PINGWIT is the fifth in the Pungapeople series; previous illustrators are Murray Ball, Donovan Bixley and Natalie Ward.