Expat adman wants young readers’ funnybone

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Kiwi creative Carl van Wijk – a senior art director who is ex Saatchi Auckland and Y&R Auckland and currently CD at Rage Inc Tokyo – has produced a colourful book for two to six year-olds that celebrates NZ bird life in a way that aims to tickle the littlies’ funnybone.

Van Wijk, who collaborated on Squishy Squashy Birds with Alicia Munday, head of marketing at Peters Ice Cream in Melbourne (he created the art; she wrote the words), has won awards for his work in Cannes, New York, Los Angeles, London, Vienna, Australia and New Zealand.

“This book is a stunningly beautiful celebration of New Zealand bird life,” said Mark D’Arcy, a Kiwi who’s Chief Creative Officer of Facebook’s Creative Shop, and author of another celebrated children’s book, Why the Chickens Crossed the Road.

“I wasn’t sure if I should read it or get it framed and hang it on the wall.”

Here’s the blurb: Sammy’s favourite endangered New Zealand birds are squished and squashed between the pages of his book, in his backpack. Their quirky personalities and colourful plumages are hidden from the world. They perch in awkward positions on the pages, far from their beautiful natural habitats and unable to live in the wild. But when he opens the book to show his friends the birds burst from the pages to the amazement of all his friends.

Carl van Wijk spent his boyhood deep in the forests of New Zealand, quietly observing and sketching native birds. He went on to study graphic design at AUT, graduating with honours. His career in advertising began in Auckland, took him to Australia, and now Tokyo. Throughout his career, van Wijk has created ad campaigns for global giants and won many awards. In his spare time, he paints with fond memories of his home country.

The hard-cover book can be purchased (A$29.95) at these sites:

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