If you haven’t heard of Quaky Cat, you probably don’t live in New Zealand (or Japan!).
Following the devastating Christchurch Earthquake in 2011, I wrote a book to raise funds in support of those whose lives had been, literally, turned upside down. It was a huge honour to be supported so generously in this venture by publishers Scholastic New Zealand and Christchurch’s own illustrator, Gavin Bishop. Quaky Cat went on to raise over $100,000 dollars, and a sequel to the book is on its way.
Book signing with Gavin Bishop at the launch of Quaky Cat in Christchurch.
Now, the very exciting news is that Quaky Cat has gone to Japan to help out after the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami that left large parts of that country in ruins, and some areas contaminated by radiation from the damaged Fukushima power plant. Quaky Cat was introduced to Japan by a young woman called Kaori, who once lived in Christchurch and attended the University of Canterbury. She is in Japan now and toured with a trio called ‘Smile Again’, a small group who help raise money for children affected by the Fukushima Earthquake. She strongly believes children in the Fukushima/Tohoku area can relate to the story of Quaky Cat, and that the book can help many people in Japan as well as those in New Zealand. She requested permission to translate the book into Japanese for a reading and powerpoint. It is heartening to know that ‘Tiger’ (alias Quaky Cat) has been reaching out to so many, half a world away. Thanks Kaori!